Follow us

Transform Your Outdoor Oasis

The Ultimate Guide to Stunning Patios and Decks.

Summer is the season to savor the great outdoors, and our decks and patios become the heart of our homes. They’re not just places to unwind and dine; they’re stages for unforgettable gatherings. But what truly sets these spaces aglow are plants. They infuse bursts of color, a sense of lushness, and a gentle rhythm as they sway in the breeze, creating a tranquil and welcoming haven.

Photo: Shutterstock

Seating is paramount for any outdoor haven, especially if you love hosting. A clever seating solution is to integrate benches along the railings of your deck. These built-in benches offer not just ample seating but also provide convenient storage space with hinged lids. Enhance their comfort with color-coordinated cushions, adding a touch of style and coziness to your outdoor retreat. Another brilliant seating option is placing benches along the house wall where the deck meets the house, utilizing the wall for added back support.

To further enchant your outdoor oasis, consider incorporating built-in planter boxes. These not only offer a convenient way to have flowers and foliage close at hand but also add visual allure. Strategically place them on either side of the entrance, along the house wall, in corners, or alongside steps to create a layered effect. With a wide rim, these planter boxes can double as auxiliary seating, seamlessly blending functionality with aesthetics. For a touch of romance, mount window boxes on deck railings, brimming with colorful flowers and cascading plants that spill over the edges, creating a picturesque tableau.

In addition to built-in features, you can add more layers of color and greenery with hanging baskets mounted on wall brackets, arbors adorned with climbing plants, and window boxes attached to railings. These additions not only add depth to your outdoor space but also create a dynamic and inviting environment.

For plant selection, consider potted trees like ficus and palms for height and greenery, while colorful options like hibiscus and dahlias provide striking blooms. Climbing plants like morning glories and moonflowers can be grown on trellises, adding both color and height to your outdoor space.

To ensure your plants thrive, regular watering is crucial. Pay attention to the needs of each plant, watering daily or every few days depending on their requirements, or whether there’s been rain. If you have plants in hanging baskets, put your hand under the basket and lift up gently to feel if the pot has weight. If it feels too light, it’s time to water. For plants in large pots or tubs, poke your finger a few inches into the soil; if it feels dry, give the plants a drink. Clip off faded flowers to encourage new blooms, keeping your outdoor space vibrant and full of life all summer long.

For a fragrant touch, include roses, jasmine, gardenia, and other scented flowers. These plants not only add a delightful fragrance but also attract pollinators, adding to the charm of your outdoor sanctuary.

Here are some plants to enjoy on your deck or patio this summer:

Dahlias come in many different flower forms and a host of warm colors from pastels to brights. There are shades of orange, red, yellow and pink as well as white, with petals that are pointed. Hibiscus bear large flowers in many warm colors plus white and even a blue variety (aptly named Bluebird). Geraniums bloom all summer in shades of pink, purple, white and red. Clip off old, faded flowers to keep new ones coming. In a shady location try caladium, which sports foliage patterned in green, red, pink and white. A palm tree, ficus or banana plant can provide some shade for you and your guests. Morning glories and their night-blooming and fragrant relative, moonflower can be delightful. Try a combination of Heavenly Blue morning glory and pure white moonflower.

With these additions, your deck or patio will be transformed into a vibrant and inviting space, perfect for enjoying the summer season in style.