Historically, patios were very much viewed as belonging to your garden, but today’s contemporary designers are more inclined to describe them as being natural extensions of your property’s interior.
This has undoubtedly blurred the lines between interior and exterior design trends, with modern patios now serving an array of functions from outdoor cooking and dining areas to private relaxation spots.
Regardless of how you utilise your patio space, however, you’ll need to consider low maintenance ideas that create a manageable design. Here are some initial titbits of inspiration to help you on your way!
1. Erect a Living Wall on Your Patio
We’ve all seen living walls installed in modern interiors, as designers look to bring the outside in and breathe life into even the most mundane spaces.
However, living walls also provide a spectacular addition to any outdoor space, including patios or cramped, exterior decking areas.
A living wall is certainly a quick and affordable way of introducing depth and colour to your garden landscape, particularly if you have a compact outdoor space and a distinct lack of greenery.
You can also take additional steps towards creating a low maintenance living wall, such as installing an efficient, self-watering system. To achieve this, simply create a DIY irrigation system from an old hose or piece of pipework, with this capable of constantly drip-feeding your plants while allowing excess water to collect at the bottom of the wall.
If you’re willing to spend a little more cash, you can even invest in a solar-powered pump that can deliver water to your plants automatically at predetermined times during the day.
2. Introduce Colour Using Furniture and Accessories Rather Than Plants
Of course, some would argue that the cultivation and maintenance of a living wall represents significant work, even if you deploy a self-watering system.
For home-owners with a small garden, it may also be difficult to find the room for a living wall or seasonal plants, making it hard to create a colourful and vivid surrounding for your patio.
In this case, you can look to create a colourful and low-maintenance patio simply through the use of bright and occasionally contrasting accessories, such as garden furniture, fire pits or outdoor lighting.
If you’re someone who pays attention to the finer details, even the use of bright and patterned cushions can brighten your outdoor space, without requiring you to maintain an entire garden of fragile flowers.
A textured outdoor rug can also introduce depth and additional colour to your patio, contributing to an attractive and easy-to-maintain space that really catches the eye. This also embellishes the idea that your patio is an extension of your home interior, and simply another room in your property.
3. Utilise Low Maintenance Materials
In truth, the quest for a low maintenance patio starts with its construction, as you consider its core design and the basic materials that will be used to bring your vision to life.
For example, you could opt to utilise natural stone rather than concrete slabs for your patio, with the former widely considered to be a superior product that offers home-owners a number of core benefits.
Not only do natural stone patios tend to age better over time, for example, but they’re also considerably more frost resistant and easier to clean.
As a result, they’ll last for longer and offer far greater value for your hard-earned cash, while remaining easier to maintain all-year-round.
The key is to ensure that your natural stone slabs are laid professionally, as it’s important to waterproof, clean and seal the patio prior to installation. This will help you to achieve the most bang for your buck while maximising the longevity and visual appeal of your patio.
4. Host Raised Garden Beds on Your Patio
For those of you who enjoy gardening and maintaining seasonal plants and flowers, the deployment of raised garden beds makes this process physically easier and a little less time-consuming.
This is definitely true if you’re an older home-owner, who may benefit from relatively low-maintenance garden beds that don’t require you to stoop, bend and kneel down on a regular basis.
You can also install elevated garden beds on and around your patio, breathing life and colour into this space while raising plants to an eye-catching and manageable height.
This also helps to save floor space in small and compact gardens, creating more room for entertaining during the summer and allowing younger family members to play freely outdoors.
5. Choose Solar-Powered Garden Lighting to Brighten the Space
We touched earlier on solar-powered lighting, which is crucial if you’re to create a bright and accessible patio space that’s incredibly easy to maintain.
This is also one of the most affordable low maintenance patio ideas around, particularly as the cost of solar-powered and LED lighting continues to fall.
The range of solar-powered lights on offer is also incredibly diverse in the current marketplace, from quality string lights to outdoor lanterns that can be charged during the daytime.
Make no mistake; you can create a cheap and bespoke lighting arrangement that helps you to make the most of your patio, while reinventing it as a safe entertainment space all-year-round.
What’s more, you don’t even need to remember to switch these lights off at the end of a long hard day, with this indicative of an incredibly low maintenance garden feature!
6. Add a Water Feature to Your Patio
Last, but not least, we come to a water feature, which represents another low maintenance but high impact addition to any outdoor patio space.
Such features really come into their own in small and compact patio spaces, especially where there’s little room for plants for cavernous lighting accessories.
Remember, most garden water features actually recycle water from your property’s existing supply, so they don’t really require any maintenance at all. However, these features are also incredibly eye-catching and stylish, and capable of creating a focal point for your patio and wider garden space.
This also creates a contemporary visual effect in your back garden, especially when you consider the huge range of designs available to customers.