The way I go about designing an outdoor space, or outdoor room, is much the same way I design an indoor room or space.

First there are the bones. Outside this means outdoor furniture such as seating, etc. In other words everything that isn’t a plant or tree. After all my “bones” are in place, I situate the plant containers.

I like to cluster them together just by eyeing what looks right with what. It’s more personal preference than anything else.

In a home, or my apartment, the bones would be the indoor furniture, then the lighting and then the decor.

Color is important in design. Indoors I go with mostly neutral furniture as a backdrop, then I add just a handful of colors. I like to spread those colors fairly evenly throughout my home. That gives the human eye a place to land.

It makes things appear cohesive and fluid.

Outside, I do the same thing. I space out the height of my plants according to the view I want above and around them. I choose the colors by sprinkling them throughout the space for the same reason I just cited.

This year I have added more blues to my outdoor space. I already had the blue raised bed and the old distressed blue rooster. Last year I added the blue birdbath. This year I added the blue fountain and two large blue pots.

If you only have a few things of one particular color, it’s best to spread them out evenly here and there within your space.

Along with my purples, yellows and white flowers, I added a few blue flowers this year as well. Same premise as above.

It’s taken me years to get all this figured out.

You build upon your own particular style as you go along, by trial and error. Element by element you figure out your own design methodology.

I’ve had most of the galvanized containers since I lived in Texas. I put them all together for the greatest impact. I also have galvanized buckets for use when working in my garden.

Then I added the two galvanized tubs hanging on the fence a few years ago.

These tubs add texture to the landscape. Among the frilly delicate flowers they become a rustic backdrop. The same goes for the distressed patina of the fence. It is kind of a balancing act when adding textures.

Now it’s fairly easy for me to determine what I need to add or what I need to subtract from the space.

I truly love my outdoor space. I love to sit inside and stare out at what I have created.

It is like a painting in some ways. The canvas is framed by the French doors from the inside and the privacy fence on the outside.

Your own design is determined by your personal preferences and the amount of space you have to work with.

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21 Comments

  1. Just found you:-) What a beautiful space you’ve created. Brilliant how you “stacked” the galvanized containers (kinda one of those ‘duh’ why didn’t I think of that moments.) Bet it is calming to the soul just being out there.

  2. Thank you for this article. I’m new at gardening and unfortunately my sister got the creative, artistic side from mom while I got the data analytics side from my dad. I look at my back fence and pictured raised beds running along. Straight lines everything. Your pics have shown me things can be completely random and still beautiful. I can’t wait to figure out my style. Thank you.

  3. It would surprise a lot of people in Tulsa to realize that such a beautiful garden area exists, hidden from the view of everyone in town but seen by readers of this blog each day. I’m glad you share it with us. Many years ago, I was visiting a friend who lived in a townhouse. Somehow we got to talking to a woman who lived in another townhouse and she showed us a secret garden she had created along a creek bank behind her residence. She had gotten permission to plant things there. Unless she specifically took you there, you’d never be able to see it. It was a small but enchanting place filled with plants and some lawn ornaments. I often think of her little secret garden when I see yours, because there is a similar peace and beauty to it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. It is truly a beautiful spot, Brenda…and oh how I love blues and purples…just gorgeous!!

  5. I really live the log used as planter. That’s such a wonderful natural beauty. The rain on the tubs on my he fence must sound wonderful.
    The fountain. Wonderful.
    How are the movable bases holding up? Recommendations? How’s the wire cover working?
    I may buy yarrow for pots when we can get out more. Love butterflies 🦋
    Frances in MD

  6. Beautiful, Brenda! I think a lot of it depends on having a “good eye”, too. I pretty much do as you do. A lot of the fun is playing around with adding and subtracting things!

  7. I love your outdoor space…the colors, the galvanized tubs, the plants…I understand why you love it so much.

  8. Absolutely gorgeous patio garden!!! love the planters below your galvanized buckets I’m looking for 2 of these for my screened in back deck you give me inspiration

    1. I love seeing how you have turned a plain apartment patio into a peaceful and beautiful oasis! You have a wonderful style and artful creativity! Thanks for sharing.

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