Take a moment to assess your patio. Is it the oasis you hurry home to? Is it an inviting extension of your private living space? Be honest, does it make you happy? If not, we have a solution that is a lot of fun, very flexible, and easier than you might realize: decorate with potted plants. You’ll be amazed at how much more beautiful and colorful plants can make your patio – especially if you don’t have a lot of garden space. Potted plants can add color and style, hide ugly corners, define space, attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and even hide your neighbor’s RV. And because you choose the plants and the pots there is unlimited room for creativity.
Annuals such as Proven Winners are perhaps the most common plants people display in their patios. Easy to care for and available in a dizzying array of colors and varieties, these plants provide exceptional color all summer long. But there are many other types of plants that can be grown outdoors in pots and containers.
Hibiscus, mandeville, jasmine and other tropicals are also extremely popular. Fast growing, with spectacular colors and fragrance they are the perfect plant by the pool, patio lounge and dining area.
Japanese Maples and other small trees in big pots are a powerful tool decorators use to add style in a patio – especially if that patio lacks garden space. And because of their interesting branching, they give patios year-round appeal even after they shed their leaves.
Arborvitae and other evergreens are very popular because they provide a lot of green for very little expense. Plus they can be positioned to create a beautiful year-round living fence.
Vegetable and herbs make wonderful plants for patio areas. Not only can they look lovely, they are convenient to pinch or harvest when you need fresh flavors in the kitchen.
Palms, ferns, ornamental grasses and other decorative foliage plants add a lot of color, height and texture – extremely useful if your patio is surrounded with a lot of flat walls and masory.
Topiaries – both evergreen and herb – add classic style and are available in many sizes from tabletop to full 6 feet tall.
Perennials can be used by themselves or in combination with annuals for added texture and color. Plus, planted properly, they’ll come back year after year – even in a container.
Succulents have recently become a very popular container plant. They come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and textures providing lots of creative possibilities. Plus, they are especially easy to care for.
Feel free to mix and match different plant types, heights and colors to create unique combinations – just keep in mind for the best results you want to combine plants that share similar water and light requirements.
Choosing plants is half the story; you also need to choose the container they’ll call home. Just as a well-chosen frame can make a painting look magnificent, the right decorative container can transform a plant into a designer accent. What kind of pot – the style, color, size and material – makes an equally important contribution to the overall appearance as the plants that go in it. At Mahoney’s we pride ourselves in offering one of the best selections of decorative pots around. Imported from all over the world, as well as ceramic pottery made right here in the USA our selection allows you to choose a pot that complements both the plant and your patio. [ Note: Before repotting any plant, please read 3D’s. 2W’s. Choosing the Right Container. ]
Chicken or Egg
Which do you buy first, the plant or the pot? Happily either approach works. Some people fall in love with a plant’s style, color or fragrance and start by choosing the plants first. The plant-first approach is also useful if you have a shady patio where you need to limit your choice to only those plants that thrive in low light. On the other hand, some people start by selecting the container because they want to match other design elements nearby. Example: You can create a high-style monochromatic look by choosing white pots to complement your white patio furniture and white windows and shutters.
Choosing the right plants and pots can feel daunting, but that’s why we’re here. Many people clip photographs from designer magazines to help us know what they like. This is fun and can give a lot of direction to the selection process. Another approach is to click through our Outdoor Spaces Board on Pinterest. We have a lot photos that will get you excited. Before you come in take a few photos of your patio and outdoor space. Make a note of how much sunlight it gets. Take a few photos of other details that can help us direct you to the right style container. Pictures of the house, shutters, patio furniture, shed, patio floor, and landscape all help when it comes to choosing the right plants and decorative pots. A final note; unlike planting a tree or shrub in your garden, everything you do with containers is movable. Trying different placements and design combinations is part of the fun.