Container Gardening Ideas for a Patio Upgrade

Article Posted By: Erika Ward

of BluLabel Bungalow

Container Gardening Ideas for a Patio Upgrade

It was time for a patio upgrade at Erika Ward’s house. It’s been a while since we saw her terrific family-friendly under deck patio makeover. Now the author of the design and decor blog BluLabel Bungalow is here to show us how a few simple container gardening ideas can be all you need to make even more of your outdoor space.

It’s what we’re calling a Patio Style Challenge Redux. But this time there’s no new patio furniture set. Instead, Erika works her outdoor decor magic with container gardening– including some large shrubs in lovely big planters, and smaller potted plants, too.

As you’ll see, her gardening efforts added a ton of charm and lovely, natural atmosphere to her patio.

Container Gardening on an Under Deck Patio

I’m thrilled to be back in the saddle again with this year’s Patio Style Challenge Redux Series. Two years ago, I partnered with Home Depot to redesign my terrace level patio.

Before and After: A Patio Gets an Upgrade

Here’s the dramatic before and after of the makeover of my under deck patio.

Furnishing our outdoor spaces ranked high on my home’s priority list. As a family of seven we could not afford to have wasted space. I firmly believe that it is important to utilize every square foot of the home both inside and out. After all, we’re paying for it each month whether we use it or not.

Evergreens in Large Planters

This year’s goal was further improve the area by planting trees and incorporating some potted plants. I first focused on the area beneath the stairs. It was the only place that hadn’t been touched. In fact, the kids used it as a shortcut to go from the yard to the lounging area.

Putting large pottery planters in place before planting

While browsing The Home Depot for inspiration, I was instantly drawn to the size and color of the 21-in. Ocean Blue Ceramic Smooth Handle Pots (no longer available).

Aligning them side-by-side created the natural divider between the patio lounging area and the lawn.

Container Gardening: Planting an evergreen in a large planter

Inside of each one I planted a vibrant evergreen tree and fed it with Vigoro’s Tree, Shrub, and Evergreen Fertilizer. With proper care they grow quite large and when they do we will transplant them from the pot and into the front yard.

Three evergreens in large planters sit on dark mulch next to a lovely patio with an outdoor rug

Our new evergreen trio stands tall and proud underneath the stairs. The fresh batch of black mulch surrounding them complements the fretwork pattern on our new indoor/outdoor rug.


Mother and Son Gardening

A mother and her son enjoying container gardening together

My eldest son was playing in the yard while I worked, but then became intrigued by how things were coming along and wanted to help. It never ceases to amaze me at how much fun they have playing in the dirt.

Spending quality time with him, just the two of us, allowed me to show and tell him how awesome he is and hear his recommendations for sprucing up the backyard.

A young boy does some container gardening

He suggested that we plant Spanish moss into an existing concrete bowl. “It would make a great centerpiece,” he said.

My kid’s got a great eye for design!

Spanish moss in a concrete bowl planter

We had three more pots to fill, so we ventured to the side tables to create some attractive arrangements.

The green plant is called Sansevieria Zeylancia also known as a snake plant, or my favorite nickname, “mother-in-law’s tongue.”

It’s super low-maintenance, and you can’t kill it unless you overwater it or don’t water it at all. They are great houseplants for beginners and do equally well in a covered outdoor environment like ours.

Lithodora and Sansevieria Zeylancia on a patio table


Potted Flowers

Beside the mother-in-law’s tongue, we planted a flowering plant called the Lithodora also known as ‘Grace Ward.’ Of course my daughter, Ava Grace, was amused by the name.

Lithodora, or Grace Ward

This low-height perennial loves the sun and is typically planted as ground cover, however it thrives just as well in a ceramic pot.

Marigolds and lemonade on a patio table

Marigolds bring a big dose of sunshine even in the rain. They are known to cheer up any space thanks to the vibrant yellow blooms. We love how they complement our existing color palette.

Erika Ward Patio Redux 11 copy

We couldn’t be happier with our patio refresh. Not only is it the perfect oasis for our entire family, but it also shows our kids the importance of taking care of plants so we can continue to enjoy their beauty.

What more could you ask for?

Atlanta-based interior designer, writer, and philanthropist, Erika Ward worked in the design-build industry as an accountant before turning her passion for interior design into a successful business. In addition to providing decorating advice and inspiration on her blog, BluLabel Bungalow, Erika co-founded Room Service Atlanta, a non-profit group of interior designers and design enthusiasts who provide pro-bono services to Metro Atlanta shelters.

For more patio upgrade ideas, see other Patio Style Challenge articles here on The Home Depot Blog and follow our Patio Style Challenge board on Pinterest. For more container gardening ideas, follow our Garden Club board on Pinterest.

Browse our online Outdoor Living Department and The Home Depot Garden Center to find everything you need for a beautiful garden and patio.

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