No matter your budget, space, or gardening experience, you can design an outdoor room that you'll love spending time in—and we bet you won't be the only one. Your new space will soon become a favorite of friends and family too. This article originally ran on gardeners.com.
Start by gathering inspiration from our collection of Breezy Porches and Patios.
Next, select an area that is convenient and suitable for your outdoor entertaining. Define the space using outdoor rugs and furniture or tall planters to serve as the walls for your garden room. A bistro set and a couple of chairs makes for an intimate space on a balcony. Those with more room may want to include an outdoor wicker and teak dining set. Fill the planters with ornamental grasses, papyrus, cannas, and other flowering plants to create a living screen.
Add a splash of color and flavor to the space by growing herbs and vegetables combined with flowers in these and additional planters in your garden space. Include ingredients for your favorite drinks, appetizers, and meals. Your guests will enjoy plucking a few mint leaves for their iced tea or mojito, harvesting fresh greens from a salad garden bar, and dressing up the meal with a few pesticide-free edible flowers like nasturtiums, calendula, and daylilies.
Busy gardeners and those that travel may want to try self-watering pots. These containers have built-in water reservoirs to provide a constant flow of water to the plants. This means you need to water less often, while still enjoying healthy and productive plants.
Add some height and focal points with topiaries. Purchase a sculpted evergreen or train vines up a twist topiary frame to create a bit of living art.
Extend your enjoyment with outdoor lighting. A few votive candles in old punch cups are perfect for intimate gatherings in small spaces. Add a bit more illumination with the help of solar illuminated planters, solar deck lights, post caps, and solar cubes and spheres. No buried electric lines or extension cords needed. Use these lights to lead down the path to your garden space or brighten the space for an evening of fun.
Go ahead and get busy creating the garden room of your dreams. Once you get started, you'll be looking for even more ways to enjoy your garden.
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. Myers’ web site, melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos and tips.