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How I Decorated My Patio with Plants

Looking to jazz up your patio? Take a tour with me to see how I decorated my patio with plants. As you'll see, they add so much to the space.

I love nature and I love being outside. Don’t get me wrong, living in New York City was a blast but it was those trips to Central Park which made my soul sing. My new home in the Arizona desert has 2 patios; 1 off the kitchen for dining and 1 off the living room for lounging.  Let’s take a tour of the latter so I can show you how I decorated my patio with plants.

Grey fish hook senecio hanging from a red hanging pot
I have to trim my Grey Fishhooks Senecio off the ground every 3 weeks or so because it grows so fast (like all these other plants) here in the desert heat. The Dracaena marginata (which I need to get a decorative pot for) was left behind by the previous owner. 

In keeping with my passion for anything green and growing, I have more plants than I do furniture. That’s a garden hound for you!  My Santa Barbara garden had a lot of container plants and the number of them in this garden seems to be on the rise. All are low water usage, which is very important in this dry climate. I keep a pail in my kitchen sink which catches the gray water and this is how I water most of my container plants.

A tour: how I decorated my patio with plants:

I greatly enjoy sitting on my patio with a drink, eating breakfast or working on my laptop. My kitties spend quite a bit of time lounging out here while watching the multitude of birds, butterflies and lizards parade by. It’s covered with a north exposure and at first thought, it was going to be too dark. That’s not the case at all because our Tucson sun is strong and bright. I love the fact that I can sit out here without 16 layers of sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.

Trio of succulents

My trio of succulents hang right next to my 3 headed Ponytail Palm with the Burro’s Tail Sedum. Love all of them!
Pencil cactus and staghorn fernThe Pencil Cactus & Staghorn Fern sit opposite the Hoya. Most of these plants were brought from my Santa Barbara garden, a few as cuttings, & all put into new pots.

The plants make this space and I’ve had fun picking out and painting pots for this space. I’ve arranged them how I find pleasing (isn’t that design after all?!) and in spots where they’ll do the best. The sun does stream through on the edges in the early morning and late afternoon so I had to switch the Hoya and the Pencil Cactus because the Hoya was starting to burn. It’s much happier where it is now.

A beautiful Hoya plant
My Hoya topiary sits right by the sliding glass door. To the right of it is a low bird bath filled with colored glass chips & a couple of geodes which I got at the Tucson Gem & Mineral show. A little patio bling!

There are a couple of spots on the outer edges where I would like to put a couple more plants. They get more sun so I’m going to be on the hunt for cacti which don’t have too many spines. Some of them are so interesting and the maintenance is a breeze. Oh no, that means I’ll have to buy more containers too – yipee!

View to the side patio
On the other side of my patio is beautiful rock work done by a previous owner with a lot of vegetation. There is a multitude of birds, butterflies, lizards & much larger wildlife which also greatly enjoy this spot.

Wondering where I got some of these items?  The love seat came from Wayfair, the seating set from Joss & Main, the hanging pots from amazon, & the tall planter the Hoya is in from Lowes, and the rest from Home Depot and Home Goods.

Are you as crazy over plants on your patio as I am?

Happy gardening & thanks for stopping by,

Riley, a grey colored cat with big yellow eyesHere’s my sweet Riley cat (a rescue) eying a quail on the other side. He stays in this walled garden but loves to watch the action on the outside.
Oscar, a 17 year old cat with black fur and white pawsThis is my senior citizen Oscar, also a rescue, who’s really good at napping. He’s 17 or 18 & not as fascinated by the wildlife but really does enjoy lounging out here.

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  1. I so enjoy all of your posts and share often. I am an interior designer who became a Master Gardener and morphed into being a Florida Friendly garden designer. My special love is art and decorative accessories in the garden, so your love of special containers is always appreciated. Thanks for so much helpful information on plants in general. Obviously, we live in different climates but much crosses over!

  2. What a wonderful garden, Nell! Love the care and attention to detail in all your surroundings…beautiful furniture, pots that are so well decorated, and, of course, your marvelous pairings of desert plants. Even those patio tiles look gleaming clean!! I love cats, too. It is so awesome to see a desert garden…seems like you really enjoyed the move and are adjusting to a climate so unlike the California wonderland that you were accustomed to!

  3. Hi Ann – I recognize you from our Facebook page! Thank you for stopping by here & also for sharing. Pots & decorative accessories make a garden so much more interesting. And now that I live in the desert, they definitely add some color. Yes, our climates are so different but a lot does cross over. I hope to visit Florida next year as it been ages since I’ve been there. Time for a tropical plant fix! All the best, Nell

  4. Hi Vera – Thank you! I love my little patio & am glad that you like it too. My kitties also spend a lot of time out there enjoying the parade of birds, butterflies & lizards. It definitely is a change from my CA garden & I still have many things to learn here. My garden is slowly coming together, & like a true gardener, mine will never be done! Nell

  5. I love your patio garden! Using mainly succulents is a great idea in such a hot area. I should add more succulents to my little balcony garden out here in Southern California, but I love flowers and keep adding those in mine. I also like the little bit of color you added with those planters and pillows. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Hi Ann – Always happy to share! Succulents do great in Southern California so they’d be a great addition to your balcony. Nell

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