How to arrange pots and planters on a patio

Nothing brings a patio or decking to life like a few plants. Wondering how to arrange your garden pots and planters to make them look their best? Here’s your guide to patio perfection.

Listen to your plants

Don’t forget the golden rule: right plants, right place. Make sure that your leafy lovelies have what they need before you think about where your pots are going to go. Shade-loving plants won’t thank you for giving them a spot in the sun…and vice versa.

If you’re grouping more than one plant per pot, make sure different species like similar conditions and need similar levels of care and water as well as checking they look good together.

Mix up big planters and small planters

Whether you’re planting up a bed or artfully arranging pots on a patio, when it comes to gardening, odd numbers always work best. Try grouping three or five garden pots or planters together, either in a corner or either side of a path or doorway, using big plant pots at the back and smaller ones in front to mix things up and give the illusion of more greenery. Keep the pots fairly close together to make the display look fuller and more lush.

Plant taller, denser shrubs or small statement trees in big pots as a focal point and use those in front to add pops of complementary colour or texture. Having a few plants spilling over the edges of your garden planters can help to fill gaps and create a delicious wall of greenery.

Move your pots around

Foxgloves blooming madly? Spring bulbs doing their thang? When a container plant reaches peak performance, move it centre stage so everyone can bask in its glory. If a plant is past its best, stick it somewhere in the wings until it’s time to cut it back, then store it up or refresh the contents for next year.

Choose a look

Group containers that complement each other to keep things super stylish. Think about the material they’re made of, the design and the shape. For instance, terracotta pots are timeless but work particularly well in traditional or cottage-style gardens, while metal planters have a more industrial feel. Rounded pots can add soft lines to a hard, paved patio, whereas square planters neaten things up and offer a modern, sophisticated vibe.

Don’t be afraid to play with colour and texture. There’s a lot of fun to be had with a garden pot display, whether you’re into flowers and foliage of a similar colour or you want to create a veritable rainbow of blooms. Grasses and soft foliage will also add drama and change the feel of your outdoor space.

Play with the height of garden pots

Your garden pots don’t need to keep their feet on the ground. Try raising a few of them up on pot feet or place them on upturned pots or plinths to add height. If you have a garden wall or steps, group pots at different levels to create a unique display.

Remember, too, that plant stands are not just for houseplants. Introduce them to your patio for a fresh, modern look.

Think outside the box

Don’t miss out on other ways to introduce plants to your patio. Group a few small pots together as a centrepiece on top of a garden table or get out the drill and add a hanging basket or two from walls or fenceposts. If you have any windows facing out onto the space, consider making up a window box to add to the flower frenzy.

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