The patio is a lot of work, it’s a lot of maintenance, lifting, moving and arranging of pots, preparation, cleaning, monitoring, watering, mulching, feeding, de-pesting, planting, soil-mixing. It’s one of the most resource- and time-intensive parts of the garden. The work repeats year after year, but it is lovely to have the patio pot display.
The transition from a cold, bare expanse of concrete slabs in winter to a hot sunny terrace with a mass gathering of pots, all a riot of colour, texture, shape, size and scent in summer is spectacular.
There’s a particular feeling and atmosphere I want to create with the patio. All those terracotta pots mixed together, brimming with flowering plants spilling over the top and sides should evoke a sense of elsewhere.
Indeed I do want it to feel like somewhere else, detached from the “normal” rest of the garden, with its standard shrubs and perennials. The patio is distinctly different, especially since it switched over to having mainly annuals now. There’s an abundance of exotic and tropical annual flowers and bedding from Spring right through to the first frosts.
I want the patio to feel like an escape, like somewhere beautiful you’ve been to before, somewhere warm and sunny, where you had a wonderful time with friends and family and which brings a smile everytime you think back to it. Somewhere in the before-now.
And I think I nailed it when he said, “it smells like holiday”.