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Perfect Patio

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September 17, 2013
Sometimes the size or shape of a landscape can seem limiting. But with the right design and plant selection the options can be limitless. Today I'm visiting my friends Helen and Pete and seeing how they make the most of their New Orleans styled back landscape. The gravel walk around the side of the house opens up on a broad paver patio area. The linear pattern of the pavers helps to visually make the patio look bigger. Both ends of the patio are anchored by river birch and Southern magnolia enhancing the area. All around the patio perimeter is a wall of tumbled block creating raised planting beds. These wall blocks are man-made and the tumbling adds an aged look. The raised landscape beds create the ideal settings for their variety of evergreen shrubs and grasses. The back landscape is surrounded by a vertical wood fence and softened with Savannah holly planted in front. In the fall and winter the Savannah holly puts on a show with its copious berry production. A large trellis draws your eye to the middle of the back landscape. The trellis cross beams are supported by the brick columns which match the brick of the house. This is the perfect location for hanging baskets like these colorful bougainvilleas. The focal point of the back landscape is the fountain found underneath the trellis. The fountain features a playful cherub and both are dark blue-gray which is contrasted by the background of green King Tut papyrus; the papyrus leaves are clustered and resemble umbrellas adding textural interest. Helen and Pete have done a great job using a variety of plant and hardscape material to create a relaxing backyard. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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