Create a Flower-Filled Summer Patio
Choosing plants for a summer patio is easy; the tricky part is organizing them to create the right overall look. In a small courtyard such as this, choose a mix of colorful summer annuals and leafy plants for a cottage garden effect.
From: DK Books - Containers for Patios
While deep borders often mimic team photographs, with the short plants at the front and the tall at the back, so that everything is clearly visible, some patios work better in terms of multiple groupings. Arrange the pots into a series of small groups of, say, five or seven, with each cluster offering height that is off-center, width, and interesting detail right at the front. The livelier the overall view, the more the eye moves up and down, and here and there, and the more you have to step forward to get a closer look, and then back to take it all in.
In small, narrow patios, maximize the planting by using wall as well as floor space. Use a mix of table pots, wall planters and windowboxes, all of which add height and interest.