Heading into autumn the weather is still perfect for hosting friends and family on the patio. After the heat of summer, it's time to rejuvenate and refresh as we “Pimp the Patio” to get a new look going for your outdoor room.
Dress your patio up as a compliment to your home or just for a function. Planted up now, colour around the entertainment area lasts for a few months, look great through the holidays and into spring. Clean up pots with a fresh coat of paint, scrub down the terracotta and concrete pots as well as the tiles and shape your specimen plants.
Give the patio furniture a good clean and install a bowl of colour to use as a centrepiece on your patio table. Fall Chrysanthemums are perfect for just that. Larger blooms catch the eye in a large variety of colours to suit your style.
Decor gets to go outside
Patios are more of an outdoor room than just somewhere to sit outside. The best trend is to layer your style with decor items such as candle holders, Objet d'art, even displaying your watering can. The advantage of a watering can that lives on the patio is that it's always handy for quick watering in the morning before work.
Having a wall shelf or rack adds to the decor and is also practical for displaying all the collectables on. Adding plants in colourful containers to suit your style also takes the plants up the wall for a more successful vertical garden. If you don't fancy a wall rack as standing shelf will do the same and even the smallest corner can come to life with a wall hanging ornament or plaque.
Keep the area flowing with enough seating and be inspired to play with colour in your outdoor room. The light is brighter outside so what can be garish inside suddenly becomes more relevant outside. A playful decor style will also make it more of a relaxing mellow space where family and friends can put their feet up and dream.
There can never be too many containers standing on the patio but that said one does want the patio to flow with your indoor style. Inviting the indoor out and the outdoors in creates a calmness which stimulates restful and peaceful surroundings.
A minimalist and contemporary interior leads to bold groupings of larger containers with monochrome styling. Soft provincial décor leads to patios with more of a shabby chic look and formal container groupings. While the indoors that hosts a collection of the family treasures leads to a fuller patio with loads of things to see and talk about.
Whether it's big bold containers in groups or a shelf full of succulents in small containers the secret to success is in planting them correctly.
Tips for container success
The most common questions we get in the garden centre about containers are what about drainage and how often must they be watered.
- A drainage layer of River Sand is ideal. River sand acts as a filter and you will find the holes don't block and the water running through will be clean, not muddy. This is great on your patio tiles and it also means that the soil level will not drop.
- Use only Potting Soil to fill up your container. Potting soils is lose and assists drainage where if you use garden soil it becomes hard and plants can't breathe and the water does not move through the pot. Fill the container to about two thirds and press down firmly, and then add more soil to the level where the plant roots start. Place the plant and fill around the sides pressing down as you go. The final soil level should be level with the soil of the plant going in.
- Always water your containers so that the water runs out the bottom. Less frequent deep watering is better than a little water more regularly as the deep water encourages stronger root growth. Pots in full sun need watering at least three times a week and shade containers twice a week. This also depends on the type of plants and how big they are as you might find you water more. Ideally your containers should not dry out totally between watering.
- Feed containers with water soluble fertiliser for best results. This gets the food all the way through the pot and is easier for the plants to absorb. Multifeed will encourage more flowers and the organic alternative Nitrosol will keep plants green and lush. Feed at least once a month and if you water daily then you can increase your feeding to every second week as the nutrients flush out the bottom with daily watering.