Don't think that your outside spaces need less consideration or effort than your interior ones, as that really isn't the case. In fact, with a little time and thought, your outdoor area and in particular, your garden patio, can effectively become an extra room to be used and admired all year round.
Creating the perfect patio involves so much more than a little bit of decking here and there, so we've compiled some top tips to help you really make your mark on the outdoors. Don't worry that we are going to expect you to be master gardeners though, as our tips are designed for everyone from green-fingered novices through to seasoned garden design experts!
Let's get outside!
For a garden patio that really offers the best practicality and usability, as well as stunning aesthetics, we don't think you can go wrong when you combine furniture with some hardy and easy to care for plants. Really, what could be nicer than sitting outside to enjoy breakfast, surrounded by stunning blooms?
We think this charming space, from Fenton Roberts Garden Design, is a great example of what we are talking about. Thought not the largest patio in the world, the space has been put to great use as an al fresco dining spot, complete with raised beds of gorgeous plants. A few lights and this would be a day-to-night delight!
If you only have a small amount of outdoor space, but you are keen to make great use of every inch of it, why not think about planting some more unusual blooms? Add to this some amazing coloured gravel and an angled spotlight and all of a sudden you have masterminded a lovely installation that will be a focal point, even when the doors are shut!
We love this spiky blooms, as they are reaching up almost like flames and creating really interesting shapes and textures just outside the main body of the house on the garden patio and the peach pebbles are something else! What an eye-catching mini garden!
If you are keen to stray away from the norm in a bid to create something really interesting on your garden patio, perhaps you could give some genuine consideration to making a Zen space. We know that it seems pretty radical and out there but even a smaller space can be given the peaceful and reflective treatment.
Key features should be well-manicured greenery, a water feature, if you have space and some raked gravel, often in a white or black finish. We suggest that you sketch out how you want the space to look and work from there; you'll be surprised how easy it is to create a little patch of utopia in your garden!
What always looks fantastic in an outdoor space, regardless of the style or size? A water feature! If you are keen to create a truly spectacular garden patio, we don't think you can afford to overlook adding a fabulous fountain or even a babbling brook!
We love this example, as the subtle blocks gently squirt the water out in a constant flow and create an understated and stylish focal point in the garden. Far from being showy, it is a relaxing addition that we think everyone will enjoy.
For a really beautiful and well thought out garden patio, you need to make sure that you have control over every element and that everything has been fixed perfectly and to your specifications. This needs to include not only plants, but accessories too!
We love the inclusion of these rustic terracotta plant pots as recurring items and think their placements look wonderful, taking advantage of the undulating terrain and sloping grass. As an extra beautiful feature, we are absolutely infatuated with the vibrant red foliage here too!
You don't need to be an expert in all things green and growing to make a huge impact on your garden patio. In fact, even beginners will be able to grow a host of edible treats, as well as decorative items and doing so in these stacked trough planters makes for a dramatic visual, as well as a practical and money-saving initiative! We think it would be fabulous to have planters full of herbs and tomatoes just outside the kitchen door; imagine how flavoursome your food would be, not to mention pesticide-free!
For a host more garden inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Small Gardens And Courtyards: 7 Charming Ideas. We know you'll be inspired by some of the innovative ideas in there!