Plants add the finishing touches to a patio. They soften the hard lines of bricks and paving and have a cooling effect in summer. Choose the right plants for your patio and backyard and you will have a great looking, easy to maintain outdoor living area.
Removing some patio pavers to put in a fixed garden bed can become messy. If the garden bed isn’t retained properly, sand can escape onto your paving. Pots can be a neater and easier way to add plants to your patio.
The colour, texture and height of the pots also add interest. Choose an eclectic mix of pots with different colours and materials or stick to a theme, for example, aged terracotta, matt ceramic, funky coloured plastic pots or glazed.
If you leave plants in their plastic pots, you can easily move them around the patio and out into the sun. Heavy pots can be placed on castors so they can be moved in and out of the sun and for cleaning underneath the pot.
Light Requirement for Plants
Be careful with your patio plant selection, particularly if you intend to leave plants against the house in full shade. Many plants prefer at least dappled sunlight so select plants that are happy in low light conditions.
You can have more light on your patio by incorporating SUNTUF polycarbonate sheets used intermittently as skylights in your roof. This superior roofing material gives you plenty of light without the heat and still offers 99.9% UV protection.
Plants classified as suitable for the indoors are likely to enjoy a fully shaded patio location. Here are a few plants that will thrive for even black thumb gardeners.
- Zanzibar Gem – can cope with quite dark conditions and need little water or fertiliser to thrive
- Mother in Law’s Tongue – an oldie that has enjoyed new popularity in recent years for its striking variegated foliage
- Peace Lilly – its glossy green leaves and occasional white flowers can easily cope with full shade
- Parlour Palm – if you are looking for some height with a tall plant, then a palm is a perfect choice
- Monstera – if you have a large space you want to fill then this horizontally growing philodendron will do the job.
Planting the right type of plants in the right spot can improve your comfort levels year round and reduce your reliance on utility bills. Use deciduous plants to give you extra shade in the backyard when you need it in summer but without any leaves in winter will let in the sunlight.
Hedges can be used to trap sea breezes and force the air through open windows and doors in summer for cross ventilation. The hedges can contribute to an improved energy rating of your home. Ask your Poulter Installations consultant how your patio can be used to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Vines were popular for growing over the old wooden pergolas in years gone by, but now they are mainly grown on fences. Passionfruit and grapes are popular for their foliage and delicious fruit.
If it’s coloured flowers you are after, try the vibrant Trumpet Creeper in a warm position.