Want to add a little green to your outdoor kitchen or patio living area, but don’t have room for a big garden? The good news is that many plants don’t need a ton of space to thrive. In fact, many will grow quite happily in a flowerpot, decorative urn or other container.
Container gardening is a fun hobby that combines artistic vision with a little trial-and-error experimentation. It’s a great way to enhance the look and feel of your outdoor kitchen.
Here are a few ways to incorporate container-grown plants into your outdoor living space:
1. Keep fresh herbs on hand
Nothing beats the flavor of fresh herbs, so why not grow a few close to your barbecue grill or pizza oven? Most herbs are hardy and easy to grow in small containers, and they also make artistic garnishes for a great-looking plate. Here are a few ideas to help you select what to grow:
- For pizza or Italian dishes: oregano, thyme, basil, and/or rosemary all work wonderfully
- For burgers: thyme and chives can be chopped and mixed into the burger patty itself
- For lamb or pork: sage, rosemary, fennel and mint all play well
- For chicken: Anything really, but rosemary is an easy crowd pleaser
2. Grow your own salad
Or, if not an entire salad, at least you can grow tomatoes and lettuce as fresh “fixings” for your burger. Tomatoes love sun and their leaves give off a pleasant, summery aroma, while leaf lettuces such as mesclun and spinach do especially well in the shade (perfect if you’ve got a closed-roof pergola.)
3. Keep bugs at bay
And by bugs, we’re referring to mosquitoes in particular. You can burn citronella candles, but did you know you can also grow citronella itself? When the bugs are biting, rub the leaves onto your skin and you’ll have an all-natural repellent that smells much better than DEET products. Other herbs that work as mosquito repellents include lavender and basil (especially lemon or cinnamon basil).
4. Just sit pretty
Of course, a plant doesn’t have to be “useful” to bring joy to your patio. Chances are your favorite flowers can be grown in containers without much trouble. Even some shrubs and trees (including blueberries and Japanese maples) can adapt to container life, though they’ll likely stay pretty small. Plant what makes you happy!
Before you start, you’ll need to learn a few container gardening basics, such as:
- Selecting a pot with good drainage (and even putting rocks at the bottom to help with this)
- Using potting soil instead of regular garden soil (since the plants need more nutrients in a closed system)
- Paying attention to a plant’s light and watering requirements
But even if you’re not a pro gardener, chances are most plants will do just fine with a little sunshine and love.
Make the most of your backyard
Need more than a few plants to upgrade your backyard? If you’re dreaming about backyard paradise that includes a custom pergola, barbecue island or full outdoor kitchen, we’d love to make those dreams reality! Give us a call at (888) 747-4554 or click the banner below to get started.