So you’d like to add some greenery and color to your deck or patio? Well, we’ve got the guide for you! Whether you’re interested in attracting native pollinators to your patio, adding a pop of color, or just improving the ambiance of your outdoor space altogether, we’ve got six different ideas to share.
Questions to Ask Beforehand
Before you run to the nearest greenhouse or nursery, here are some questions you should ask yourself.
1. What hardiness zone do I live in?
Hardiness zones are important because they indicate what plants can survive all seasons in your location. Most local plant stores that you visit will only carry plants that can thrive in your area. However, it’s still a good idea to get familiar with your home’s designated hardiness zone. This is a map based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree Fahrenheit zones. You can visit the USDA’s website to type in your zip code and receive your home’s hardiness zone. If you live in Idaho, you can see our list of Idaho hardiness zones and climbing plants for pergolas here.
2. Will my plants be getting full sun, partial sun/shade, or full shade?
Take a look at your outdoor space. Where would you like your flowers to be? Take note of how much sun and shade those spaces get throughout the day. Depending on this information, you’ll have to choose your plants accordingly.
3. How will my plants receive water?
Watering plants (especially in the summer heat) can be a big daily commitment. Consider setting up a drip self-watering system for potted or hanging plants. If you’re looking for perennial flowering plants, consider planting them in an area that is already being watered by your existing sprinkler system to avoid the extra work. You can also keep perennial plants in pots and bring them inside during the winter months.
Now that you have an idea of your space let’s look at ideas for keeping flowering plants on your deck or patio!
Decorating Your Deck or Patio with Flowers
Option 1: Lots and lots of hanging pots.
We love this European-inspired front patio filled with color and terra-cotta accents. The hanging pots have been fastened to the wall using steel flower pot clips. While this may be too busy for some, the idea of bringing color upwards instead of having potted plants only on the ground allows the color to spread wide along the scene. Just be prepared to hand-water daily.
If you’re interested in learning how to achieve a similar look, here is a video explaining how to hang terra-cotta planters:
Option 2: Make flowers pop against a lush background.
This calming patio feels like it’s nestled along a lush creekside. By having a backdrop of trees and shrubs along your fence, you can create a cool aura on your patio. You can then add pops of color with flowers like they’ve done with their accent of red flowers. If you live in a very hot or dry place, having the extra moisture from trees and shrubs can help your flowers resist summer heat.
Option 3: Add built-in garden beds into your patio design.
These built-in garden beds look extremely natural and don’t distract you from the green foliage and colorful flowers they contain. They can also have a built-in watering system to remove the need to water them by hand. By choosing to make built-in garden beds part of your patio design, you can focus more on the planting and less on the task of watering your plants.
Option 4: Add a wildflower garden near your pavers.
If you’d rather ditch the pots and planters altogether, you can plant a beautiful wildflower garden leading up to your deck or patio instead! We love the color combinations of indigo, lilac, green, blue, and white. They’ve planted a mix of rosemary and sage with other flowers.
If you live in Boise, Idaho, or the surrounding areas, you can plant high-desert wildflowers and achieve a similar look. Here are some of our favorites:
Western Idaho Wildflowers
- Bachelor’s Button/Cornflower
- Arrowleaf Balsamroot
- Carpathian Harebells
- Scarlet Gilia
High-Desert Ground Cover (between the pavers)
- Spanish Sandwort
- Hooker’s Desert Sandwort
- Carpeting Pincushion Flower
- Pink Chintz Thyme
- Bay Laurel
If you’d like to purchase high-desert plants for your Western Idaho home, you can purchase them at Draggin Wing Farm. You can browse their varieties online before you visit. Again, make sure that whatever plants you choose can survive in your hardiness zone.
Johanna Bobbio shows her beautiful DIY project of building a wildflower meadow outside of her tiny home.
Option 5: Add hanging baskets to your support beams.
Hanging baskets of flowers from your support beams can make your patio cover or deck pop! We love the traditional look of full flower baskets on a painted deck. Make sure you either have a water system set up or that you’re consistently committing to watering your baskets daily. Especially in the summer heat, the roots of your plants can dry out quickly.
Horticulture magazine has a blog post on caring for hanging baskets here.
Option 6: Add a flowering climbing plant to your deck, patio cover, or pergola.
If you’re looking for low-maintenance flowers that can last year-over-year, consider investing in climbing or creeping plants that can crawl up the side of your house, your deck beams, patio cover, or pergola. These viney flowering plants will need regular maintenance and will also shed many leaves and petals. The one-time planting, beauty, and shade they provide can be worth the regular pruning and clean-up.
If you live in Idaho, we’ve put together a guide of the best climbing plants in Idaho hardiness zones.
We hope this guide has helped you get inspiration for how to decorate your deck or patio with flowers! If you live in Idaho and are looking to enhance your outdoor space, consider adding a ShadeWorks patio cover or pergola.