As the weather gets warmer, we all start spending more of our time outdoors. Our attention shifts from interior design projects to our outdoor spaces. Warmer months mean the chance to sit in the sunshine and enjoy cooking and eating meals with family and friends out in the fresh air. If your backyard looks like it’s in need of a little tender loving care - or maybe an injection of some wow factor - then you’re in the right place. This patio design collection presents 50 gorgeous ideas on how to expertly present your al fresco dining and open air lounge areas. .

How to design a patio: Expert advice on patio design

This expert guide brings you all the tips you need to find out how to design a patio perfectly, with advice, inspiration and a ton of patio ideas for you to consider. How to design a patio: Expert advice for designing a patioUse this step-by-step guide to find out how to design a patio like a pro.

There has been a big shift in both materials and finishes used in patio design over the past few years, with maintenance and patio cost all factors to consider when selecting a material. However, you can also finish your patio design with beds and boundaries built from wood, which can be cheaper and quicker to construct.

How to design a patio for shelterGarden design by Cassandra Crouch MSGD (Image credit: Cassandra Crouch MSGD)Form follows function for garden designer Peter Reader MSGD. .

10 Tips For Planning A Patio Garden

There's a lot to consider when it comes to planning your perfect garden patio. BUY PLANT Chervil Why: Its subtle aniseed flavour is greatfor soups, sauces, egg dishes and more. BUY SEEDS Tarragon Why: A staple in French cooking and a classic way to add oomph to potato salad. BUY PLANT Sage Why: The leaves work well with chicken and are good in classic sage-and-onion stuffing. BUY PLANT Dill Why: Commonly used for potatoes and fish or add to soups, sauces and salads. .

44 Backyard Landscaping Ideas to Inspire You

A backyard is an extension of what's going on inside your home. Usually, it is more colorful, casual, fun, and the possibilities are up to the terrain, your design skills, and your do-it-yourself know-how.

You can always hire a landscape designer or architect to help your outdoor space realize its potential. A skilled professional can guide you through the process of figuring out a style, deciding who will be using the yard, creating zones of activity, choosing materials and plants, and recommending builders and contractors for everything from swimming pools to outdoor structures to installing irrigation.

Explore 44 ideas that show you how to transform a backyard into your favorite space. .

Free Interactive Garden Design Tool

Plan-A-Garden lets you create design plans for anything from a patio container garden to a welcoming front walk to your whole yard. Use your mouse to "drag-and-drop" hundreds of different plants to see how their colors and shapes work together. Add in dozens of structures like sheds, fences, gates, and even fountains and fire pits. You can play around with fun elements like garden gnomes, basketball hoops, and swing sets, too. Let us help you build your dream garden! .

Create a Patio Vegetable Garden

She combines her love of good food with a background in fine art to create kitchen garden designs that turn work into play. Even with self-watering planters, you will need to water frequently during the hottest part of the summer. Soil MattersContainer Mix is a lightweight planting mix that contains sphagnum peat, perlite and vermiculite to retain moisture without clumping or getting heavy.

Typical garden soil — even if it's fertile — is not the best option for pots, planters and raised beds because it doesn't drain well. Depending on the size of the planter, it's a good idea to start each year with fresh planting mix.

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How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Concrete, Patio, or Hard

Read along to learn tips and best practices for building a raised garden bed on concrete or other hard impervious surfaces. Drainage & WaterAll garden beds need good drainage, including raised garden beds installed on hard surfaces! Now, let me show you what I mean…EXAMPLEBuilding a Wood Raised Garden Bed to Install on ConcreteStep 1: Build or Obtain a Raised Garden Bed FrameFirst, you need to build (or otherwise obtain) a wood raised garden bed frame for your space.

If you need any pointers here, please check out our detailed “How to Design & Build a Raised Garden Bed” tutorial. Raised Bed KitsFor instance, there are several quality elevated raised bed kits out there.

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How to Make Your Yard Bird-Friendly

In the face of these threats, you can help birds thrive right where you live by making your yard more bird-friendly. If you don’t have a yard, you can still help birds by creating a native plant container garden on your patio or balcony.

Take stock of the plants you've already got: Your yard may already include native plants that birds love. Your yard may already include native plants that birds love.

Caring for Your GardenSteward your native plant habitat with tender loving care—but don't be too neat. .

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