If you have a green thumb you may have beautiful landscaping, a vegetable plot, and houseplants. Or, you may love plants but don’t have the luxury of a big backyard or your health may prevent large-scale gardening.

This is when it’s time to turn to that empty patio or balcony for gardening possibilities. A patio is an oft-neglected space that homeowners or apartment renters forget to use so why not perk it up with plants?

The benefits are many, and the convenience can’t be beat!

Try A Trellis

A trellis with ivy or other climbing plants can be the best way to shield you from neighbors’ nosy gazes. Trellises can also provide reprieve from unsightly back yards or a noisy street.

Ideal Plants

If the idea of a trellis doesn’t appeal, you can always place a hearty ficus or other large container plant to obscure the view off your patio or balcony. A wooden deck, concrete patio, or iron balcony are negative spaces that become inviting when decorated with plants.

Hanging plants, like spider plants or ferns, can make a space cozier when you sit on a swing or bench in cool evenings, giving the impression that you and your guests are “peeking” out into the view.  Small, hearty outdoor plants are great placed on a tiered stand or on the railing, providing visual interest.

Grow Some Veggies & Fruits

Vegetables, like cherry tomatoes or lemon trees, can make having fresh produce right at your fingertips possible.

There are many vegetables and fruits that do well in pots. This is great for gardeners with limited space or mobility. Herbs are also a nice addition to your patio or balcony garden, as they are beautiful as well as useful.

Fun Patio Ideas

Patio gardens can be as large or small as your taste or space permits. You may prefer a southwestern look with lots of cacti. Maybe you want the lush appearance of leafy green plants and blooming flowers.  A minimalist may want to keep his or her patio garden limited to a lemon tree and a pot of Asian grasses.

Vary Flowerpot Colors

Also remember that the pots themselves can serve as decorative focal points. These you can buy new in complementary colors, find at flea markets for an eclectic look, or paint yourself.  If you want the plants themselves to be the star of the show use simple terra cotta pots.

For green plants, colored pots are often attractive. It’s also possible to match the pot to the flower color. For example, a lavender plant would be beautiful in a shiny periwinkle bowl.

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