25 Patio Garden Ideas That Will Inspire You

Patio area with wooden fence and plants

@s.u.s.a.p. / Instagram

Even if your yard is entirely a patio, there's still room for a garden. Whether you only have a small sliver of available soil next to the pavement, or there's no open ground but plenty of open patio to use, you can add plants to make the space more beautiful and inviting. Here are our favorite ideas for patio gardens that'll have you gardening on your outdoor lounge space ASAP.

  • 01 of 23

    Plant Spillers Along a Retaining Wall

    Flower garden with seating area

    @afrobohemianliving / Instagram

    This small seating area is abundant with blooms thanks to the colorful perennial plantings spilling over the retaining wall and onto the edge of this compact patio space. Tall Siberian iris add vivid purple tones that enhance the cobalt blue table.

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  • 02 of 23

    Add Palms to Mirror a Fountain

    Patio with large fountain and potted plants

    Marie Flanigan Interiors

    Tall, sculptural potted plants mimic this courtyard water feature. The sprawling palm fronds and scratchy trunks add texture and color to the tile and stucco space.

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  • 03 of 23

    Define Space With a Canopy

    Patio with retaining wall and canopy

    KG Designs

    This charming patio retreat has a dramatic open-air canopy draped with flowering white wisteria. When this perennial vine isn't flowering, there are plenty more blooms happening in this well-planned garden design. Learning about bloom times helps you plan a garden that displays flowers all season long.

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  • 04 of 23

    Create a Vista

    Patio with view of trees

    Amy Leferink at Interior Impressions

    This patio overlooks a gorgeous tree line, and the colorful planters add to the lush natural vista, while small potted plants continue the green theme.

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  • 05 of 23

    Surround Yourself With Plants

    Patio area with wooden fence and plants

    @s.u.s.a.p. / Instagram

    Even when your patio is tiny, smack-dab in the middle of an urban jungle, it can still play host to a variety of plants. Add them in pots, a sliver of dirt by the fence, or on a trellis up the wall. The assortment of container plantings is varied and eclectic, perfectly accenting the whimsical design of this garden space.

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  • 06 of 23

    Install Large Container Plants

    Patio with potted hydrangeas and ferns

    @thepsychgarden / Instagram

    The potted Quickfire hydrangeas in this lush patio design offer a long season of bloom with very low maintenance, while the fern stays lush and green from spring through autumn.

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  • 07 of 23

    Rely on Potted Plants

    Patio space with plants, barbecue grill and chairs

    @cottageandsea / Instagram

    Even with a small space that serves multiple purposes, you can create a set-up that allows for a garden as well as functional areas. This little patio nook has seating areas, a grill for cooking, and a rustic stone water feature. Plants in small containers can be moved around to change the look and feel of the space.

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  • 08 of 23

    Simplify With Raised Beds

    Wooden raised beds with flowers

    Musings by Madison

    Even if you feel you have virtually no garden space, a raised bed planter on a gravel walkway makes a wonderful small patio garden. Add some additional clay pots to expand your growing area.

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  • 09 of 23

    Plant Lavender for a French Country Look

    Large stone house with French style garden

    Finding Lovely

    This rural property in France has rustic stone-edged flower beds and a narrow stone patio. Planting some colorful flowers and plenty of hearty lavender creates a French country aesthetic, and an unexpected plus: lavender lends a fresh, relaxing herby scent that helps repel insects.

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  • 10 of 23

    Soften Straight Lines With Green Textures

    white house with patio containing garden beds

    Laura Brophy Interiors

    This Florida home has a clean white patio with plenty of room to plant small shrubs near the seating area, plus one in the very middle of the patio, where a shrub breaks through in a bed of red. The organic textures and shapes balance the angular lines and add a needed burst of color to this appealing space.

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  • 11 of 23

    Choose Colorful Foliage Plants

    Wooden patio with potted Japanese maple

    @themayflygarden / Instagram

    This Swedish gardener creates a simple yet stunning patio arrangement with potted grasses and shrubs. The focal point is a potted Japanese maple, whose vivid deep burgundy leaves steal the show.

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  • 12 of 23

    Try Subtle Background Plantings

    Patio with furniture and plants

    Calimia Home

    This sophisticated patio has stark black and cream furnishings, but if you look closer there are delicate, finely textured green plants in containers set throughout the patio area and planted along the fence. The tasteful array of plants gives a much-needed softness to this sleek design.

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  • 13 of 23

    Choose One Statement Plant

    Stone patio with small firepit

    @julianporcino / Instagram

    This southern California home has a nice big patio area. Rather than fill it with plants, furniture, or decorative pieces, a simple seating area with a fire dish is accented primarily by a glorious flowering vine.

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  • 14 of 23

    Plant Tulips in Pots

    Patio area with tulips in planters

    @thepsychgarden / Instagram

    If you long for large beds of spring-flowering tulips but just don't have enough room to plant them, try them in containers on your patio. As long as they have plenty of drainage in the cold season, they will do fine in large planters.

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  • 15 of 23

    Install Easy-Care Window Boxes

    Slate patio and window boxes

    Marie Flanigan Interiors

    Gardening can be a bit messy. Window boxes are a good way to have plenty of flowers without the upkeep of container gardening or flower beds. These tasteful plantings look great with this classic slate patio, and they're easy to care for during the growing season.

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  • 16 of 23

    Create a Tropical Paradise

    White house with tropical garden in patio

    Calimia Home / Photo by Karla Garcia

    This Florida patio features compact plantings of large tropical trees and shrubs for a dose of drama. The large lush green leaves offer a cool oasis for the seating area, while the crape myrtle tree provides a burst of bright seasonal color.

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  • 17 of 23

    Spice Up Your Patio With Culinary Herb Plants

    Brick patio with potted herbs

    @themayflygarden / Instagram

    This small brick patio in Sweden is a nice way station from garden to table. With a round table to hold the day's vegetable harvest, and potted culinary herbs on the work table, this pleasant, functional space is perfect for enjoying a beverage and conversation as a simple meal is prepared.

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  • 18 of 23

    Make the Most of a Small Space

    Small stone patio with bench

    @themayflygarden / Instagram

    This slender stone patio is a perfect spot for a bench and table, creating a space to rest, read a book, eat lunch, or just enjoy the day. Plants give this secluded oasis a rustic look.

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  • 19 of 23

    Fill Your Dining Area With Greenery

    Outdoor dining area on patio

    Designed by William Hunter Collection, Styled by Emily Henderson Design, Photo by Sara Tramp-Ligorria

    Surround your dining area with large and small potted plants. The plants give this rustic patio area a vibrant and inviting look and feel.

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  • 20 of 23

    Keep It Simple

    Small seating area with plants and modern furniture

    @homebypolly / Instagram

    This charming little corner patio area is an eclectic assortment of furnishings and small-space solutions. Simple potted plants lend texture and define levels, while a sisal rug and midcentury style chairs add geometric whimsy.

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  • 21 of 23

    Create Vertical Green Walls

    Wooden deck with hedges and tall grasses

    @themayflygarden / Instagram

    The clipped hedges, climbing vines, and free-form grasses give definition, height, and privacy to this patio area, creating the illusion of a living green room with lush vegetation walls.

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  • 22 of 23

    Use Narrow Potted Plants

    Balcony garden with chairs

    @thetravellingapartment / Instagram

    A narrow balcony space doesn't offer room for much of anything besides a few bistro chairs and a side table. But tall, narrow potted plants can find their place too. A geranium, African milk tree, cacti, and small citrus tree all contribute to the natural style.

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  • 23 of 23

    Add Cottagecore Style

    Wooden patio with white furnishings

    @herzenstimme / Instagram

    Potted hydrangea and herbs and sweet flower boxes bring garden style to this space that otherwise could've been located anywhere in or out of doors. The plants create a whimsical cottage look, and the herbs add some pleasing fragrance for a dreamy atmosphere.

  • How do you start a garden patio?

    To start patio garden, add container plants, window boxes, or hanging plants. If you have a sliver of open ground, you can use that too to plant a few more things. Just keep in mind how you want to use the space other than for gardening to make sure you can still use it for that purpose.

  • How can I make my patio look nice?

    To make a patio look nice, choose furnishings, colors, plants, or objects you like to look at. Your patio should be a place where you enjoy spending time. Planting some annuals in containers is a simple way to start adding some seasonal color to your patio area.

  • What grows well on a patio?

    If your patio gets a decent amount of sun, you can grow annual flowers or small flowering shrubs in containers. Pots of culinary herbs look and smell great, are easy to grow, and provide fresh ingredients for cooking.