Patio Panache

Here's how to transform even the tiniest patio into a relaxing retreat.

Here’s how to transform even the tiniest patio into a relaxing retreat

Every urban deck has room for all the elements: sound may be banana leaves rustling in the breeze, trembling Miscanthus, the soft rattle-snake clatter of the seedheads of Briza media, or the gentle music of wind chimes. Go with the flow by including water-filled pots, a petite waterfall or bubbling fountain set in rock. Fire up outdoor evenings with candles, twinkling lights, patio lanterns or ‘Survivor’-style tiki torches, or consider a free-standing fireplace. Whimsical embellishments such as reflective orbs and myriad mirrors make the light dance, upping the enchantment quotient. A charming table, a couple of chairs – et voila. If you’re more the zen type, keep a shady patio area toned down and sparse with raked pebbles, a single chair, a delicate-leaved Japanese maple in an earthenware pot and a set of clacking bamboo wind chimes. The use of imagination can transform any tiny enclosed garden into a world unto its own to be enjoyed and savoured. This year’s Vancouver Sun Garden Show, the largest outdoor garden show in North America and returning to the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver from June 7 to 10, features an “Urban Deck Showcase” – a series of close to a dozen original patio designs by garden professionals, using a palette only 2.5 by 2.5 m (8 by 8 ft). Attend, and be inspired to create a perfect small space for reconnecting with yourself – a place to turn off your cell phone and put away your BlackBerry for a little while. Patio Panache Urban Garden Design Team Art Knapp Urban Garden by the Art Knapp Design Team Above: Nestled in a frame of privet and other broad-leafed evergreens, The Urban Garden design team at Art Knapp incorporates stone (both marble and river rocks), wood, glass and a wide range of plant material in a restrained colour palette. Exotics like taro and agapanthus coexist harmoniously with variegated ivy, dahlia, hens & chicks and purple fountain grass. This informal combining of plant genres creates a welcoming, undaunting space, perfect for putting your feet up and sipping a glass of wine, or enjoying a cup of honeybush tea with a friend. Art Knapp Design outlineArt Knapp Design Outline PLANTERS, FURNITURE AND DECOR 1 Rectangular concrete planters: large $129.99 • 2 Rectangular concrete planters: small $84.99 • 3 Mosiac table $199.993 • 4 Chairs $99.99 each • 5 Finial w/gazing ball $68.99 • 6 Gazing ball on garden trellis $71.99 • 7 Gazing ball on stake $49.99 • 8 Oil Burners $14.99, Pot $69.99 • 9 Wire vase $24.99 • 18 Blanket $34.50 • PLANT MATERIAL 10 Hedera canariensis ‘Gloire de Marengo’ (Algerian ivy) – zone 8 • 11 Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ – zone 8 • 12 Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Baron’ (millet) – zone 9 • 13 Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ -zone 9 • 14 Agapanthus orientalis ‘Silver Star’ (syn. A. praecox subsp. orientalis) – zone 9 • 15 Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ (bull bay) – zone 7 • 16 Euonymus japonicus (Japanese spindle tree) – zone 6 • 17 Colocasia (Taro) -zone 11 • 18 (Blanket $34.50) • 19 Echeveria – zone 9
Patio Panache GardenWorks Design TeamPatio Design by the GardenWorks Design Team The use of various types of stone and brick grounds the tropical plant material by designers at GardenWorks. Incorporating the rug blurs the edges between indoors and out, the rug’s intense colouring playing off strong foliage and flower tones. The teak table and chairs add another exotic note. If you’d love to migrate to Costa Rica, this fully furnished little patio may suit you! GardenWorks Design Team OutlineUrban Garden by GardenWorks Design Team FURNITURE AND ACCENTS 1. Balau folding chairs $129.99 • 2. Cycan leaf bowl $129.99 • 3. Black ball vase $12.99 • 4. Balau folding table $249.99 • 5. Tranquility ball fountain $249.99 • 6. Sloggers sunhat $39.99 • 7. Canvas tote bag $12.99 • 8. Mad Mat 5×8 $99.99 • PLANTS AND POTS 9 Iron Red Coin pot $129.99, Musa basjoo (fibre banana) – zone 8 • 10 Round Rim gloss black pot $119.99, Alocasia macrorrhiza (elephant ears) – zone 10, Phormium tenax ‘Carousel’ (New Zealand flax) – zone 9, Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ (lime ricky coralbells) – zone 4, Bacopa ‘Giant Snowflake’ – zone 9, Coleus ‘Volcano’ – annual, Hedera helix ‘Needlepoint’ (needlepoint ivy) – zone 5, Lobelia ‘Red Cardinal’ – annual, Ipomea ‘Lime Green’ (green potato vine) – zone 9 • 11 Iron Red Coin pot $129.99, Musa zebrine ‘Blood Leaf’ (blood banana) – zone 8, Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea (purple shamrock) – zone 3, Ipomea ‘Blackie’ (blackie potato vine) – zone 9, Coleus ‘Wizard Mix’ (wizard coleus) – annual, Herera helix (English ivy) – zone 5, Muehlenbeckia complexa (wire vine) – zone 8, Carex hachijoensis ‘Evergold’ (evergold carex) – zone 6 • 12 Malasyan black pot $24.99, Hisbiscus rosa-sinensis ‘The Path’ (Chinese hibiscus) – zone 10, Coleus ‘Wizard Mix’ (wizard coleus) – annual, Bacopa ‘Giant Snowflake’ (giant snowflake bacopa) – zone 9, Phormium ‘Sundowner’ (New Zealand flax) – zone 9, Muehlenbeckia complexa (wire vine) – zone 8, Ipomea ‘Blackie’ (blackie potato vine) – zone 9 • 13 Gloss Gun Grey coin pot $39.99 • Calocasia esidenta (black taro) – zone 10, Muehlenbeckia complexa (wire vine) – zone 8, Eucomis comosa (pineapple lily) – zone 8, Asparagus densiflourus ‘Sprengeri’ (asparagus fern) – zone 4 A few hints from designers – go slowly, “placing” plants before potting up permanently. Avoid clutter, which can be jarring in a petite patio! Resist buying plants just because they’re on sale – with a small space, a restricted colour palette works best. Classical Asian gardens use few flowering plants; the many shades and subtleties of green are considered calming to the mind.