8 Classic Patio Garden Ideas for Bringing Boring Backyards to Life

Is your backyard patio looking a little blah? It doesn’t need to stay that way. With a little bit of creativity, you can transform your humble space into a spectacular retreat that’s ideal for barbecuing, lounging, and backyard entertaining.

An unadorned patio can be just a wee bit boring. Colorful, growing plants are the key to livening up the look and adding visual interest to the space. Any old patio + gorgeous living plants + a creative, well-thought-out layout = a spectacular patio garden that any homeowner could be proud of.

Intrigued? Need some ideas for transforming your ordinary patio into a patio garden getaway? If so, you’re invited to browse through these classic patio garden ideas for a dose of inspiration and eye candy.

1. Natural Stone Patio Garden

With careful planning, you can integrate your patio and garden designs together so cleverly that it’s challenging to know where one stops and the other begins. Take a look at this example of a stone patio that blends in so well with the nearby trees and plants, it looks like a natural extension of the landscape.


Natural Stone Patio Garden Idea

Natural Stone Patio Garden Idea

2. Patio Flower Garden

Patio Flower Garden Idea

Patio Flower Garden Idea


Flowers are an elegant addition to any patio garden. Whether you plant them in containers and place them on the patio, or plant them directly in the ground nearby, either way they’ll add sophistication and beauty to the garden’s ambiance.

Pictured here is a flower garden with an integrated walkway. A garden bench is a lovely addition to the landscape, offering a place for reading, relaxation or quiet meditation amidst the fragrant flowers.

3. Patio Vegetable Garden

These days, growing numbers of people are taking an interest in eating fresh, local organic produce that’s free of toxic chemical inputs. It can be costly to eat locally grown organic foods, if you can even find them in your area at all. One interesting solution to this problem: designing and growing your own edible patio garden.

Considering the variety of gorgeous edible plants that are available, a patio vegetable garden can be every bit as beautiful as a flower garden. Kale is an attractive plant that’s decorative as well as nutritious. Edible peas are a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Tomatoes can add showy red and yellow colors to the garden, and red hot peppers are also colorful and attractive. There aren’t many edible plants that are downright ugly — so a carefully designed edible garden can be a thing of exquisite beauty, no matter which varieties you decide to plant in it.

4. Patio Herb Garden

If you’ve never gardened before, a patio herb garden could be the ideal choice for you — because herbs are both beautiful and easy to grow. Most herbs can be easily cultivated in containers, and they can add significant eye appeal to backyard patios. If you take care in planting and tending your garden, you could enjoy success on your first attempt; many beginning gardeners have been able to enjoy their own fresh herb gardens at home.

Fresh herbs are well worth having on hand, both for their loveliness and their culinary properties. They’re a tasty, low-calorie way to season salads, sauces and just about any entree or side dish you might want to serve. Bonus points if you can pick them fresh from your backyard patio, and put them right on your picnic table for use at your next meal. Think about all the money you’ll save on food and fuel, not to mention all the associated environmental benefits.


 A Patio Garden With Pergola in Pasadena, California. This Is a Hand-Colored Vintage Photograph by Noteworthy Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston, Circa Spring 1917.

A Patio Garden With Pergola in Pasadena, California. This Is a Hand-Colored Vintage Photograph by Noteworthy Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston, Circa Spring 1917.

5. Patio Garden With Pergola

A pergola doesn’t have to be a particularly fancy structure, but it can add a significant amount of grandeur to a patio or other outdoor space. You could use a pergola to visually divide your patio or garden area, creating the appearance of a room or hallway in a part of it.

Pergolas can be formal, but they don’t have to be. They can also be rustic, or casual, or modern, or contemporary in style. Whether you’re landscaping a cozy beach cottage, a midcentury modern home or a neoclassical mansion, there’s a suitable pergola design to complement it.

Patio Garden With Palm Trees

Patio Garden With Palm Trees

6. Patio Garden With Trees

I find this picture inspiring for a number of reasons, but primarily I’m attracted to the idea of a patio garden with trees growing in the same space. I think perhaps this idea could be most useful for people who are building brand new backyard patios from scratch.

What I’ve learned from this picture: you could probably build your dream patio in just about any spot, even if you’re starting with a backyard that has a bunch of trees already growing in it. No need to cut down the trees; just make them a design feature, and build the patio around them.

This idea would be particularly interesting if your budget only allows for a plain-jane sort of patio design, like a basic concrete slab patio. A concrete slab all by itself isn’t all that remarkable, but with a focal point of beautiful trees, it could really be a winner.

7. Terrace Garden With Reflecting Pool

Terrace Garden With Reflecting Pool, Photographed in 1921 by Noteworthy Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston.

Terrace Garden With Reflecting Pool, Photographed in 1921 by Noteworthy Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston.


Reflecting pools were popular in times past. For those who have the time, money, energy and inclination to build and maintain a reflecting pool, it would make an attractive and enticing addition to a backyard patio space.

8. Patio Garden With Ivy or Other Climbing Plants

This Vintage Photograph Depicts a Classic Patio Setting Which Is Enhanced by Ivy and Other Climbing Plants.

This Vintage Photograph Depicts a Classic Patio Setting Which Is Enhanced by Ivy and Other Climbing Plants.


Ivy can add charm and visual interest to any landscape design. Other climbing flowers and plants are beneficial too.

For urban and suburban dwellers with limited outdoor spaces, climbing plants are a fantastic option. They allow you to add plants to your landscape easily, yet the space the plants occupy is largely vertical. This allows you to take best advantage of every inch of the the square footage you have to work with.


So there you have it: 8 classic patio garden ideas that could inspire a new look for your own backyard patio area. I really hope you can use some of these ideas to create a beautiful, pleasing space in your own backyard.

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