20 Patio Border Planting Ideas to Complete the Look

Patio border planting ideas

Planting shrubs or flowers along the perimeter of a patio helps to complete the look of the patio. You’re essentially creating a border around it, defining its area. Consider creating your border using plants that can add warmth, color, texture, shade, and privacy to your outdoor oasis. The type of plants you can use to create your patio edge planting is endless! In this article, we’ve gathered some of the best ideas for installing a plant border to enhance your patio!


Raised Beds as Borders

Adding a raised bed for plants around the border of your patio will take your design to the next level! Raised beds can also give you the space needed to add plants. Having the plant border at the same height as the patio can also make it feel larger. Here they’ve used large stones that match the patio pavers to create the raised beds which helps to tie them together. The peonies with pink flowers add some color to the design and they also complement the color of the house. I like how the dark mulch contrasts with the stonework to make it pop.


Boxwood Border Planting

Boxwoods are one of the best shrubs you can use to create hedges and borders. They are extremely versatile. There are dwarf boxwood varieties you can use when you want smaller shrubs or larger boxwood varieties that can grow up to 8 feet tall! You can also prune them into all kinds of shapes allowing you to tailor their look to your design. Here we’ll focus on patio border landscaping ideas with boxwoods.

For this idea, they’ve used smaller boxwoods pruned into a round shape for the border along the front of the patio. The shape of the boxwoods goes perfectly with the semicircle shape at the center of the patio and stairs. Their smaller size also keeps them from blocking the view of the backyard. Along the sides of the raised area, they’ve installed larger boxwoods since they aren’t worried about blocking the view. They’ve kept the shape of the larger boxwoods rounded so they go well with the smaller shrubs.

You can also use boxwoods to enclose your patio. This gravel patio is lined with boxwoods which help clearly define the seating area from the surrounding garden and walkway. They’ve kept the shrubs short so that you can take a seat and enjoy the view. I love the use of the potted plants on the patio to add more color and interest to the space.

Boxwood topiaries are timeless and can turn a typical hedge row into a work of art. For this simple topiary, they’ve pruned rectangular sections out of the top of the hedge to add more dimension. It reminds me of the top of a castle wall. This creates a much more interesting look around the patio and brings more character to the overall design.

These homeowners have created a double border around their patio with custom seating and plants. The blue brick walls add some subtle color to the patio without overwhelming the space. They’ve used boxwoods behind the brick which helps soften the stonework, blending it into the landscaping. The use of bunchgrasses in the corners adds another textural element to the design. Mixing boxwoods with other plants in your patio plant border like this can also help keep costs down and reduce the amount of pruning you have to do.

Boxwoods can be used to frame a large, circular patio too. Their ability to be pruned into any shape makes them ideal for creating a solid shrub border around patios that aren’t square. They have the same effect as a railing but feel much more elegant. They’ve continued the boxwoods around the walkways to accentuate them as well.

Boxwood borders can also make a backyard feel cozy and inviting. If there weren’t boxwoods around this patio seating area, it would feel more open and exposed. The boxwoods help close it in a bit, making the space feel more intimate. They also bring some color to the design which is otherwise dominated by neutral brown tones.


Minimalist Patio Border Plantings

Patio border planting ideas that are full of densely packed plants can be expensive to install and maintain. However, a beautiful edging design can be created with just a handful of plants and still look amazing. In this example, they’ve used dark mulch around the perimeter of the patio to contrast the concrete beautifully. Then they added an outer perimeter of river rocks which will help keep the mulch in place and keep the lawn from growing into it. To add some color and life, they’ve simply incorporated bunchgrasses in the corners. The bunchgrass will transform into more prominent features as it grows to its full size. The colors and textures of the mulch, river rock, and bunchgrass enhance this patio design. This is a wonderful example of how to add a patio border with plants on a budget.


Arborvitae Border

Who doesn’t want a little privacy from their neighbor’s prying eyes while enjoying their backyard? You can easily use this patio border landscaping idea to make your outdoor space more private. Arborvitae is the perfect plant choice for creating a living wall. They grow quickly and will stay green year-round. Here, they’ve left some space between the trees so they have enough room to grow into mature, healthy trees. You can purchase Arborvitae in a variety of sizes from your local nursery. Smaller trees will be more affordable, but you’ll have to wait longer for them to grow into a true privacy screen for your patio.

Using Arborvitae for a plant border around your patio can also provide shade. Here they’ve added a lovely swing to their flagstone patio where they can relax outside. The row of trees will add some shade to the area making it more enjoyable on hot, sunny days. I love the cute light posts which will make the space more enjoyable after the sun goes down.


Small Patio Border Planting on a Budget

When you have a large, wrap-around patio like these homeowners, installing border plants gets costly quickly. But you don’t have to break the bank to install a shrub border. Using these small Tater Tot Arborvitae Bushes was a great choice! They’re affordable, low-maintenance shrubs. They add instant beauty to the space that will only be enhanced as these shrubs mature. The shrubs will ultimately be 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. They’ll easily grow into a lush, full hedgerow border around this massive patio.


Small Hardwoods Borders

If you want to add some height with plants around your patio border, hardwood trees are an excellent choice! While they won’t all give you year-round shade or privacy, they make up for that in other ways. Deciduous trees will change throughout the seasons which will give your backyard a different look periodically. That can help keep it from feeling stale over time. You can also consider using trees that produce fruit like apples, lemons, or even avocados depending on where you live. Here they’ve used olive trees which are actually evergreens. As they grow they will help disguise the wall and add some life to your outdoor space. If they’re lucky, they may even get some olives once the trees mature!


Mixed Plantings

If you dream of being surrounded by flowers while relaxing on the patio, consider creating a patio border using a mixture of plants with different bloom times. Choose a variety of plants that bloom in spring, summer, and fall to add year-round color to the space. This can also give your design a different look each season which will keep it feeling fresh and new. In this yard, they’ve chosen plants with various shades of pink, purple, and white so they complement each other. They’ve also added a row of boxwoods to keep the flowers from spilling over onto the patio. Use a mixture of perennial and annual flowers so you don’t have to replace all of the plants each year.


Ornamental Grasses

If you like the idea of installing a plant border around your patio but don’t want to create extra yard work for yourself consider using ornamental grasses. Most ornamental grasses are perennials so you won’t have to replant them every year. They’re easy to grow and don’t really require any sort of maintenance after you plant them. Here they’ve combined a few different types with a variety of heights and textures which adds more interest to the design. I also love how the brown and white seed heads match the outdoor furniture!


Raised Beds Borders with Seating

Raised beds can be used to create space for plants around your yard. They can also double as extra seating when you have a large get-together on your patio. I love how they’ve used the same stones for the patio and the top of the raised beds here! The horizontal slats on the sides of the raised beds give them a modern style. Adding plants to your border doesn’t just have to be about enhancing beauty. It can also make your outdoor space easier to utilize in a variety of ways!


Planters With Annuals

If you like to keep your home on trend, consider using planters with annuals to create your patio border planting. They can be changed or updated easily without costing you a fortune. You can quickly change out the flowers to match the season or update the overall look. The planters can also be changed out to match whatever the latest design trend may be.


Potted Flower Borders

Adding a border that’s filled with beautiful small plants can be a lot of work. Here, they’ve saved themselves a ton of time by leaving the plants in the small pots they come in. This works well if you’re using annuals but perennials will eventually need to be replanted so they don’t get root bound. They’ve also used some inexpensive concrete pavers to disguise the pots that the plants are in. Plus, if they change their mind and want to move something it’s as simple as picking up the flower pot and relocating it!


Whimsical Flowers Patio Border

This border planting idea is enchanting! The slightly raised stone patio is surrounded by gorgeous flowers. I love how they perfectly matched the seating to the sea of flowers. The addition of grasses and shrubs adds more dimension. They’ve even added some height to the design by using birch trees and a wall of ferns in the background. It’s hard to tell where the patio boundaries end and the surrounding garden begins.

Entering this space takes you to a whimsical world of unmatched beauty! This patio edge planting idea uses a variety of flowers with different colors and shapes. Even the foliage which will remain when the flowers fade is diverse. There are multiple shades of green and an assortment of leaf shapes and sizes to keep things interesting in the absence of the flowers. They’ve kept the outdoor flooring colors subtle to let the flowers be the focal point of this patio design. Adding the small gazebo is genius and will allow them to enjoy this oasis no matter what the weather brings!


Flowering Shrubs

Why choose between flowers or shrubs for your patio plant border when you can have both? There are a variety of bushes that produce showy flowers which will add some seasonal color to any backyard. When the flowers fade, you’ll still have a border of lush foliage around the space to enjoy. Here they’ve used Weigela which produces an abundance of flowers in late spring to early summer. During the spring and fall, they’ll still be able to enjoy the wonderful light-green foliage.

About Dakota Crawford 45 Articles
Dakota Crawford is a freelance science writer who covers gardening, forestry, wildlife, and entomology. She earned three degrees from The University of Georgia: Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Master of Science in Forest Resources, and Master of Science in Entomology.