You’ve invested in gorgeous outdoor furniture – now, spruce up that outdoor area with a little ‘patioscaping’! A perfectly positioned plant in a stylish planter lends any outdoor space a flowery flourish. In fact, it’s the landscaping that really finishes off a backyard, and a bit of greenery goes a long way in softening hardscaped areas, like paved patios or wooden outdoor decks. Here’s how to use patio planters to zhoosh up your outdoor space…

*Image courtesy of Douglas & Douglas

How to Use Planters

Planters are decorative items, yes, but they can also serve a purpose beyond the aesthetic. On balconies of urban apartment blocks, or patios in housing estates, for example, you can use tall planters to create privacy shield or wind barriers. Planters can also be used to grow herbs and veggies, serving a very practical function. They can even be used to designate separate areas or break down larger outdoor spaces into smaller areas. Form follows function, as they say in architectural and design circles, which means that the sort of patio planter you decide on will depend on what you’d like to use them for.

What to Plant in Your Outdoor Containers

This boils down to one simple question – how much time do you have, or are you willing to invest, in maintaining your outdoor container garden? Potted flowers, like petunias or roses, look beautiful, but are time and labour-intensive. Potted evergreen shrubs or well-coiffed topiary lend outdoor areas a clean and contemporary feel, and, as they grow bigger, are great wind shields in breezy spots. For those who don’t want to spend hours labouring over a container garden, succulents make for a striking yet low-maintenance show. Do bear in mind whether your outdoor area is north or south-facing – whether it receives full sun, or is shrouded in shade for most the day. Speak to a landscaper or pop along to your local nursey to get advice on the best plant selection for your patio or deck.

How to Arrange Pots on a Patio

For a soft, organic feel, group clusters of pots together – closer together when plants are newly planted, and further apart as they grow and fill out. Mix and match pots and plants of different heights to create interesting layers, and recreate nature’s look-book. For a more contemporary, formal feel, space pots at regular intervals in rows along the perimeter of your outdoor area – this is also a great technique for creating a sheltered outdoor space in a windy area. Placing planters on steps creates a focal point, drawing the eye towards your outdoor entertaining area – and your enviable outdoor furniture set!

All-Weather Fibrecane Planters

Fibre-cane is an all-weather synthetic material which mimics natural wicker or rattan. Weather-resistant, it’s a great choice for outdoor planters. These fabulous planters are a collaboration between Alifurn Outdoor Furniture and interior designers Douglas & Douglas – we’re proud to have produced the weaving for these designer planters, designed by and available exclusively from Douglas & Douglas, and available in black, white or natural, in three sizes (tall, medium and short) For more information, or to buy, please see their website.

*Image courtesy of Douglas & Douglas