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Tips to set up a deck or patio: balance furniture with plants

Tips on how to set up a deck, terrace or patio

If there’s enough space, it’s perfectly possible to set up a comfortable patio, deck or terrace.

Aluminum, woven resin, plastic, wood… what garden furniture set should you choose? And what about plants? We’ll answer these questions here.

Choosing your garden furniture set

Setting a terrace up first starts with choosing the proper materials and size of the garden furniture. Which material is best?

Advantages of aluminum

Elegant designer chair for a garden deckChoosing an aluminum garden furniture set means choosing durability and strength. Aluminum resists all types of weather extremely well, and will last for a great many years – in practice, over 10 years. It is also found very appealing for its light weight and the fact that it only requires very little care.

Moreover, aluminum garden sets come in a wide array of colors and designs. Open your terrace up to a little touch of fantasy!

Wooden garden sets: a timeless choice

A furniture set made of wood is timeless. Its strength and long life is reassuring. For more comfort, it’s usually paired with soft cushions. However, any garden furniture set made from wood will require regular maintenance. Indeed, it’s recommended to apply some sort of wood protector (oil, usually) and an anti-graying agent at least once a year to keep it in tip-top shape. You should also protect it during winter to avoid any ungainly spots from forming.

Advantages and disadvantages of woven resin

Woven resin has become a favorite these past few years. Its design, adaptability and light weight have built its reputation up. However, any kind of woven resin garden furniture set will hold at most 5 years outdoors, and the original color will start to fade as time passes. They also have to protected over the winter with a tarpaulin or a protective cover.

Plastic for garden furniture sets

Deck furniture is highlighted with the right patio plantsPlastic garden sets are convenient and affordable. They’re easy to clean (water and soap, nothing else) and easily stack to take less space up when stored for winter. However, they might break more easily since they aren’t as strong. A gust of wind might blow them away or tip them over.

Make the most of sunlight on your terrace

Not having a garden doesn’t mean you can’t savor good weather outdoors! Simply set up a lounge chair, a sling chair or a hammock to savor the morning summer sun on your terrace. Of course, it helps to have a parasol for when the sun’s rays become too hot.

Savoring warm summer nights

Night-time is also a time when you can spend pleasant moments on your terrace! When scorching summer sun has set, it’s always nice to rest a while in the cool air of dusk. For an evening dinner with friends or family, you’ll need to find a way to add outdoor lighting. Wall mount, spotlights, hanging lights, lanterns or a daisy-chain of smaller lights are just a few of the options available. And if there’s no electric plug on your terrace, go for solar instead.

Which plants to set up on a terrace?

Be they in a pot, garden box or planter, some plants will thrive like there’s no tomorrow. However, you’ll need stay watchful and give them the regular care and attention they need. They often bring the finishing touch to the decoration of a terrace or deck.

Just a few plants can change the atmosphere or a terraceDesigner plants are very elegant when paired together with aluminum furniture. They’re trendy at the moment, and do very well in any kind of container. A few examples: grasses and agapanthus are masters of potted growing. Also noteworthy are the different types of horsetail and ornamental onion.

For a more peppy atmosphere, choose plants with different bearings. You can even create a Japanese-inspired atmosphere on your terrace: choose small-growing bamboo, Japanese maple, camellia , and helxine. Bamboo will also serve a double function as a privacy hedge if ever you’ve got lots of windows in the buildings facing you.

In a more timeless and elegant manner, you’ll find that potted peony will bear stunning flowers in spring. Worthy of mention are also hydrangea, snowball viburnum and dogwood.

A miniature vegetable patch on your balcony

It’s perfectly possible to set up a miniature veggie patch on your deck or terrace. Harvesting vegetables, herbs and fruits that you’ve grown yourself is one of the key triggers of immeasurable joy! Fruit trees, in addition, are quite easy to grow in containers. The apricot tree, certain types of cherry tree, strawberries of course and several species of citrus are easy to satisfy on a balcony or terrace.

Mixing ornamentals, herbs and veggies is greatAlways a pleasure is a small vegetable patch. It’ll bring an original touch to the decoration of your terrace or deck. Which vegetables to go for? Let’s mention tomato, lettuce, eggplant, bell pepper and, because why not, turnip.

All this shouldn’t lead us to forget small herb plants (chives, thyme, basil, mint…): these don’t need much space at all to grow well and produce an abundant harvest.

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY-SA 2.0: reddot
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  • Jerry Pilcher wrote on 28 May 2022 at 12 h 10 min

    Outstanding tips, those plants, and furniture look very attractive. I have also a vegetable patch on my balcony.