Patio Primer No2 – Herbs

Patio Primer – Herbs

Patio Primer – Herbs – The point of a patio is not just to have it, but to use it.

Yes, this means family weekend barbecues around your super-duper aluminium outdoor table and relaxed evenings reclining on your comfy patio furniture, but perhaps you can bring the whole area to life with some quick fix planting.

Since most patios are designed for outdoor entertaining, what could be more appropriate than to spice up your alfresco dining area with a few culinary plants?

Patio Primer – Herbs – Grand style.

If your patio is sheltered, you may be able to get away with small olive trees or lemons grown in pots. A wonderful way to create a Mediterranean vibe.

Patio Primer – Herbs – Topiary.

Olives and citrus plants are great candidates for this, but perhaps the star of the patio topiary pot, must be bay. What’s not to love about a bay lollipop?

Patio Primer – Herbs

Evergreens such as rosemary make striking fragrant foliage plants and can be trimmed to shape.   Consider putting a few rosemary plants in pots to add colour to the patio in all seasons. The blue flowers look very smart set off by navy garden furniture cushions. Sage also looks good all year round and you can have great fun with different varieties of leaf colour.

Patio Primer – Herbs – Hedges.

Dwarf Lavenders are a good choice if you want to plant a formal boundary to the patio. Again, and perhaps years of experiencing the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is to blame, I always think that a flowering lavender and classy metal outdoor furniture go together like champagne and strawberries.

Patio Primer – Herbs – Underfoot.

Don’t discount any gaps in paving. Often herbs do best in poor, dry soils – think of the rural landscapes of the Mediterranean. If you plant fragrant, low growing herbs like thymes, marjoram or oregano, they will quickly fill up the bear patches and add visual and sensual interest to your hard surface.

Patio Primer – Herbs – Containers.

Consider planting up the patio with containers for other herbs such as dill, coriander, parsley and tarragon. They are natural bedfellows and often do better in a mixed pot than separately. A good recipe for a harmonious effect is to go for “Thrillers, fillers and spillers”. Start with the show stopper – something like chives, which have a tall thin habit. Tarragon also works well. Then fill in around with parsley, sage, basil or chervil, where the soft leaves with complement the taller central herbs. Finally, pick something like thyme or oregano to tumble over the sides.

Mint is best grown alone since it is so unruly.

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