The Garden Patio

New houses seem to be getting bigger and new gardens are getting smaller.

Whilst there are still any number of exciting things you can do with a small garden the humble Patio is still quite popular.

The Patio is by definition ‘an inner court open to the sky’ and was originally developed by Arab conquerors of Spain.

The original concept of a central courtyard around which windows of family rooms were positioned seems a much more romantic prospect than the few ‘hard slabs’ we often refer to as the modern day Patio.

However a little thought and clever planting can bring your ‘alfresco’ dining area to life.

Consider first where you would like to sit – the Patio does not necessarily need to be an extension of the house, in fact some of my best Patios have been carefully positioned in the sunnier parts of the garden with winding pathways leading up to them.

Alternatively you could loose the lawn and your entire garden could be transformed into an ‘outdoor room’.

Whether your main hard standing area is made up of slabs, gravel, decking or tiles plants can soften the edges – make space in the plan for ‘planting pockets’ or select a range of eye catching containers either placed singly or in groups.

Water too can bring an area alive and these days there are any number of features available, from simple barrel ponds to more modern stainless steel water sculptures.

Finally lighting can radically change the whole mood of your Patio with the flick of a switch the garden can be changed from tranquil to striking – try up lighting sculptural plants like Cordylines and Phomiums for a dramatic night time effect.

Remember to use your imagination you’d be amazed at what you can create when you let your imagination run wild!