The weather is getting warmer and it is time to start preparing for life outside in the sun! As the temperatures rise we start to look around our yard and our house to plan out how we will get ready for the new season. You need to start cutting the grass, cleaning out flower beds, and brushing off the benches. But first, the patio needs some attention! There needs to be a nice place to sit and take a break from all of the other hard yard work you will be doing. There is nothing better than a nice relaxing patio to sit on and enjoy the summer weather.
Maybe you like to sit on the patio alone, admiring those flowerbeds where you’ve worked so long and hard. Perhaps the patio is your spot of serenity, a place to read or just relax with that evening beverage. Whatever the uses for the patio in your landscape, this is a great time to update and add features to improve your outdoor space. If you rent, many of the suggestions are inexpensive and can go with you when you move. The patio is an extension of your personal tastes and your indoors. So before you start cutting the grassing and mulching your flowerbeds, consider these improvements:
Patio Improvement Ideas
Remove clutter and unnecessary items. Get rid of that broken chair or shaky end table. Take down those cheap wall decorations and opt for one good quality piece. Removing the clutter lets you more readily recognize areas that need painting or repairs. As you remove junk and broken items you’ll begin to see a more streamlined look on the patio, as it should be.
Add Storage: Placing some means of storage right on the patio helps keep this space free from that cluttered look. You might add an attractive cabinet where you store dishes and cooking supplies. If the patio doubles as your outdoor reading area, or is where your gardening supplies end up after the work is finished for the day, add cubicle storage.
Label the cubes so everyone has a place to stash and quickly retrieve items that are often misplaced. If you need more storage, consider a mini shed to store rakes, shovels, hoses and those garden tools that are too big for a cube.
New Seating: If you’re in need of new chairs or an outdoor sofa, consider benches that include storage underneath. This item does double-duty on the patio and helps maintain that sleek new look.
Shelving: If cubicle shelving does not suit your outdoor look, check out other options. There is a wide variety of outdoor shelves available. Compliment the dining or bar area of the patio with a serving cart. Choose one with shelving underneath as an additional way to get storage.
New Grill: If you do much of the cooking outside as weather permits, treat the grill master to a new grill. Many gas grills now have features like a side burner and electronic ignition to assist the chef in making the perfect burger, steak or chicken.
Container plants: Nothing makes the patio pop like colorful blooms. Plant bulbs that bloom in all seasons for continuous color. If the patio is covered, or located in a shady spot consider a mixture of Variegated Solomon’s Seal, Foamflower, Succulents and many more options. Choose colorful containers that coordinate with your furniture.
Herb Garden: Growing a herb garden in a container on the patio is convenient for the chef and adds great fragrance to the area. Plant Rosemary, basil, cilantro and other favorites in a large container. Grow mints and their abundantly prolific relatives in separate pots to keep them from overtaking the other herbs.
Vines: Climbing vines can grow in a large container. Add a trellis or trail them up a wall to experience the fragrance and beauty of evening blooms such as the Moonflower.
Living Wall: If you have available space, consider a living wall. Many stand up pallets to secure containers of appropriate flowers, herbs, and even vines. If the handy person in the household can secure an upward plant holder, any plant with a draping habit is attractive and adds pop to the patio.
Add a bar: If you often use the patio for entertaining, add a bar. Include storage for ice, mixers and canned or bottled beverages. Ice storage has come a long way for the outdoors; one family uses a coffee table with ice and beverage storage below the tabletop. Get creative with storage options for your patio.
Lighting: Be sure to keep the patio safe in the evening by placing lighting in appropriate areas, like steps or walkways. Outdoor lighting has expanded in recent years to become inexpensive while offering a diversity of sources. Highlight your climbing vines or living wall with LED or solar lighting. Then, enjoy your refurbished, clutter-free outdoor room.
Craig is an editor and contributor to Everything Backyard. He loves to spend all the time he can outdoors and find every excuse to leave his house. He writes about everything from backyard DIY projects to gardening. If you can’t get a hold of him, he is probably on a trail or a boat.