A patio is a transitional space between your home and the great wilderness (AKA: your backyard). Unfortunately, many of these spaces languish as barren concrete deserts. Its time to think about ways to bring in the green without sacrificing the utility of your patio.
Be a Tree Hugger
YardShare contributor Steve decided to turn a grassy patch into a patio without disturbing the existing trees. He built slump stone protective barriers around each tree and installed drip irrigation hose to make sure they got plenty of water. The way the trees are raised up from the surrounding patio paving make them look even more imposing. Yeah, it took more work to accommodate these gentle giants, but it was worth it. The whole area is beautifully, naturally shaded a big plus for a family that loves to BBQ on a hot summer day.
Meditate on This
This patio incorporates a Zen garden thats tucked neatly into an L corner and partially conceals an above ground pool. If you arent enlightened enough to want plants actually on your patio, this is the next best option. Its a good bet that youll actually remember to water plants in this location because they are staring you in the face whenever you go outside. The red mulch is a nice touch that ties in with the wooden stairs just behind the garden.
Create a Wall of Green
Heres another example of plants used effectively as a border. When these trellises are fully overgrown, the vines will soften the sharp line between the tile floor and the brick and stucco walls. The vining plants wont interfere with the full use of the patio as a living space no matter how much they grow. (And if they do, the owner can use a weedeater to frighten them into submission). With added supports linking the trellises to the top of the pergola, the vines could eventually serve as a canopy overhead as well.