Despite the fact that a garden patio receives its heaviest use during the summer season when the days are long and sunny, there will be other times of the year when you will want to make use of it. Moreover, since the majority of patios are in full view of the house it is definitely worth making them look appealing all year long.
The garden may be relatively bare in the winter months with significantly less maintenance required, so that provides you with plenty of time to take pleasure from the appearance of your patio.
Just because it's wintertime doesn't necessarily mean that your garden patio should be free of plants and flowers and devoid of color. There are a variety of plants and flowers that bloom well during the winter.
Garden bulbs too can provide an excellent show of color. They can be grown in containers, but they will thrive if they are allowed to benefit from the superior drainage offered by raised beds. Miniature Irises, (Iris Danfordiae) and I recticulata) look really stunning very early on in the year, and both will positively bloom in shallow troughs.
Clipped evergreens, such as box (Boxus) yew, bay and holly, provide a more formal structure in the garden during winter. However, if you would prefer to avoid pruning, you could try planting any of the dwarf conifers that provide a pleasing outline without any clipping. Aurea Nana is a distinguished plant, forming a golden egg shape and holding its leaves in stiff, fan-like plates and is ideally suited for a year round patio.
Of course not everyone is keen on conifers, so if they are not to your taste or you don’t think they would be suitable for your patio, then you may want to give some thought to one of the numerous Hebes, which provide mounds of foliage. Hebe Cupressoides, or the ‘Boughton Dome’ is a wonderful curiosity. It looks similar to a conifer but as it’s name suggests, it grows into a perfect dome.
Adding the finishing touch will also help to bring your garden patio to life so that you can appreciate it throughout every season. A carefully positioned container, a unique sculpture or intriguing items of furniture can provide accents of color and shape needed to tie the entire theme together.
Regardless of the time of year, you should design your patio in such a way so that there's always something of interest for you and your family to enjoy.