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The patio is a small open-air courtyard that usually opens to the rest of the garden. On a small surface, garden and patio merge. Occupied by a table and garden chairs, this patio garden becomes an extension of the living room. Fresh and protected from the winds, it is like a new living room, taking into account the specificities of a garden.

Patio with garden table, trellis and boxwood pot

A garden in 3D

A patio garden allows to be at theout of sight of the neighborhood and hides what in the environment may displease - the high walls in general - without creating a confined and oppressive atmosphere. The trick is to gain height what we lose on the surface. Tapered plants and climbing plants can help.

Plants for a patio garden

The filiform plants the tall, narrow silhouette has a very low footprint, but their foliage height. These shrubs are far from being rare birds in nursery: many species come in the form of cultivars narrower than the original type. Common ash and oak offer variants of this type, respectively with Fraxinus excelsior 'Fastigiata' and Quercus robur 'Fastigiata. To a lesser extent, elm and charm do the same, with Ulmus carpinifolia 'Wredei' and Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata', whose long silhouettes round out with age.
Many exotic plants also offer a fastigiate alternative. Thus, the cherry tree with flowers (Prunus serrulata), with its cultivar 'Amanogawa', and even the tutelary sequoia, with its variety 'Fastigiata'. All these selections are much less vigorous than the species from which they come. The cypresses of Provence (Cupressus sempervirens) that haunt Van Gogh's paintings are also characterized by their long filiform silhouette. Outside the olive grove, however, they have a certain sensitivity to cold.

Privilege perennials with upright port for its patio garden

The prostrate or creeping plants give the garden a heavy and stocky appearance. Only use them at a homeopathic dose in a small garden-patio, and always after careful reflection.
Prefer plants with erect stems that will give the beds a certain lightness.
According to the exhibition, think of asphodel (Jacob's stick), hollyhocks, iris germanica, digitalis, lupine, echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) or rudbeckias.

Raised hedges

These small curtains cut are composed of small trees in stem planted close together - from 1.50 to 3 m. Their upper part is cut while the trunk, which composes the lower part, is pruned on a height of man.
These plant walls that green the garden are not without drawbacks. Long to be established, their foliage also require to be regularly pruned, which, because of their height - 4 m and more - is not an easy task. Formed in nurseries and maintained in flat shapes by size, lime trees and plane trees make it possible to establish spectacular raised hedges.

DIY: mount a custom trellis

The horticultural trade offers many models of trellises. The problem is that they never have exactly the size they need. The best way to do it is still to make it yourself.

  1. Draw the plane of the trellis on graph paper. Do not overcomplicate and allow a distance of 12 to 25 cm between the cleats. The larger the trellis, the greater the spacing can be.
  2. Obtain the necessary wood: fir slats of 33 x 33 mm or 38 x 56 mm, intended for fixing on the wall, and battens of raw wood (oak, fir or douglas pine) or treated constituting the trellis itself.
    Do not exceed 3 cm section because larger sections would visually increase the trellis without making it stronger.
    The planed oak cleats of 14 x 18 mm or 14 x 27 mm, usually sold in 2.40 m long, are very durable.
  3. Cut the slats to the correct length and fix them directly to the wall, horizontally with screws and dowels. Maintain between 60 and 80 cm between two rows of slats.
  4. Screw the cleats vertically one by one. Do not drive the wood screws fully in such a way that you can change the gauge or position.
  5. Screw the cleats horizontally by pressing the screws halfway down.
  6. Check the lattice mounted and, if you are satisfied, screw the assembly permanently.

Tutorial: create yourself a small garden-patio: tutorial

This text is taken from the book "From 1 to 99 m²: small gardens, maximum pleasure"from Robert Elger, published by Rustica

Video Instruction: How to lay a patio