Using Plants to Transform Your Patio

The patio is a quintessential part of the Australian backyard. With the favourable Aussie climate, a patio built by companies like Allweather Shelters often becomes another room to your home, albeit a room that is constantly exposed to the elements. Given the outdoor nature of the patio, you will find that adding some carefully selected plants can add comfort and style. These plants can add privacy, keep nasty pests at bay, and even spice up your cooking (whether it's for your backyard BBQ or in your kitchen). So what are some of the best and easiest plants that can jazz up your patio?

For Privacy

Patio builders can easily add a wooden or wrought iron trellis to the side of the structure. This can add an element of privacy but it's often not enough when you're living in close quarters to your neighbours. Installing a climbing plant at the base of the trellis means you will soon have a beautiful leafy wall that offers effective privacy.

  • A bougainvillea is a classic choice and is available with flowers in a variety of colours. The stems can be thorny, which will deter birds from landing (reducing the chance of bird mess around your patio). They don't need full sun to thrive.
  • The orange trumpet creeper will offer flowers (which are orange in colour, rather unsurprisingly) for all but the colder months. It's a hardy plant that does not require much care, but needs annual pruning to stop it from growing over the rest of your house.
  • Wisteria flowers have a delicate, beautiful scent which you can certainly smell if you choose wisteria for privacy. They grow well in both sun and shade, thriving in all Australian climates except for the warmer parts to the north (North Queensland at the Northern Territory).

For Repelling Insects

To keep the bugs at bay, there are a number of small plants that can be kept in pots on your patio. They require regular watering, but other than that they require very little maintenance.

  • Bay laurel repels flies.
  • Lavender keeps mosquitos and moths away.
  • Citronella grass keeps most flying insects away, but be sure to keep it in a pot. Citronella grass that has been planted in the ground tends to spread quickly

For Eating

Your patio can be a wonderful place to grow potted herbs. Their foliage is aesthetically pleasing and it can be great to just pluck the leaves and use them in your cooking. So what are some of the easiest herbs to grow on a patio?

  • Basil grows well in full sun and doesn't need a huge pot.
  • Coriander can thrive in partial sun, although its root system requires a deep pot, meaning it might not be suitable for small patios.
  • Mint can survive in pretty much any condition, so you can still harvest leaves during winter. Keep it in a pot, as it can grow and spread quickly when planted in the ground. The edge of your patio might smell rather minty if this was the case!

By adding a few plants, your patio can be transformed into the perfect outdoor living space, offering a private, insect-free zone… along with some delicious herbs.