Looking to make your outdoor space feel a little more, well… outdoorsy? Bring in the plants! Being around plants is great for our health and can even increase happiness, energy, concentration and memory, so it’s definitely worth your while to make a trip to the garden center. If you’re new to decorating with plants, we’re here to help you take full advantage with these great tips.
1. Mix and Match Planters
It’s time to start growing your outdoor planter collection! Create a dimensional look by mixing and matching planters of various different sizes, colors and materials. If they’re up against a wall or fence, make sure to place the larger planters with taller plants in the back. This will give your space an eclectic look and encourage you to relax more.
2. Separate Spaces with Tall Plants
Working with a larger space that you’d like to break up? No need to build a wall or even a trellis. Instead, take your tall plants and line them up so they create a natural delineation between one area and the next. Tall, dense evergreens are especially great for this task, particularly if you’d like to create a quiet, private nook for reading or working. You can always set potted plants on garden blocks or flat stones to add height.
3. Add Small Potted Plants to Tables
The patio is definitely the place to stick all your oversized olive trees and giant potted hydrangeas, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a prime place for smaller succulents, snake plants and herbs as well. In fact, smaller pots actually have a unique way of making your space feel homier because they remind you of your houseplants inside. Plus, they’re easier to transport inside when the weather gets cold. Place small plants on ledges, plant stands and tables to add to the jungle aesthetic.
4. Bring Unique Textures Through Planters
As much as we adore classic terra cotta pots — those are a staple, indeed — we also love using planters as an expression of style. Whether crafted by your talented local ceramicist or sold by your favorite shop, unique planters can serve as functional sculptures that make a space stand out. Look for handcrafted, hand-painted planters or those designed to look like trees, shells or other fun shapes.
5. Create a Succulent Wall
Another great way to delineate between spaces or add texture to an otherwise drab wall is to build a succulent wall that showcases your plants. These are relatively simple to install and make a big splash in any space. We recommend choosing succulents in different shades to bring color and brightness to your space with minimal maintenance.
6. Place Rectangular Planters on the Steps
Make sure to add a few rectangular planters to your stash of outdoor garden accessories. While round planters are essential and square ones bring a modern flair, rectangular flower boxes offer a stylish functionality. They fit perfectly on stairways, ledges and windowsills to tuck a little color and greenery into every corner.
7. Choose Functional Plants
In addition to choosing plants that look good and bring color to your space, you’ll also want to consider shopping for some species that help you create the most ideal and relaxing outdoor environment. For example, if you have a problem with mosquitoes or other pesky insects in the summertime, consider planting some bug-repelling plants, such as lavender, basil or thyme. You’ll also find plants that smell amazing and ones that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, which will only help you transform your space into an oasis.
8. If Possible, Go Tropical
Nothing says outdoor oasis quite like tropical plants! Create your very own jungle by placing potted tropical plants around the perimeter of your patio. While you typically think of palm trees, citrus trees and tropical plants like bird of paradise as warm-weather exclusives, you can still give your patio a tropical flair if you live in a cooler climate.
Some winter-hardy tropical plants include yucca, sugar cane, hardy hibiscus and blue palm. Just make sure to check the hardiness to ensure it will thrive in your planting zone. If not, you may need to bring some of these plants in when the weather is cold.
9. Pick a Theme
Just like any room in your home, your patio should have a cohesive theme so everything works together. When picking out your outdoor home accessories, think about the kinds of plants you like. For example, if you like tropical plants, add a palm leaf ceiling fan, some rattan furniture and outdoor throw pillows in beachy palm leaf prints. If you prefer the serenity of a Japanese Zen Garden, add a soothing water feature and Japanese rocks to complement your rhododendron, bamboo and cherry blossoms.
10. Don’t Forget the Hanging Plants
One of the best ways to really make your exterior lounge area feel like a lush jungle or forest is to decorate with plants from top to bottom. Invest in a few hanging planters and hang them from hooks on the wall or pergola. Go for leafy palms and ferns that hang from the sky to recreate the feeling that you’re looking up to a canopy of trees.
As much as we wish it weren’t the case, many of us have “greenspaces” that aren’t very green at all. By adding some live palms, herbs and shrubs to your outdoor space, you’ll be able to create a warm and inviting outdoor oasis where you’ll want to spend all your free time. Follow these tips to ensure that your green décor is as stylish as it is functional.