Before & After: An incredible terrace transformation


Is your garden struggling to produce the lush greenery you crave? The reason often lies in just three things: soil, aspect and competition for water and nutrients.

WATCH: Graham takes you to the amazing Highfield Gardens

The soil in this south-facing garden was compacted so the solution was to treat it with organic matter. Then shade lovers were planted in the garden and used in pots to puff up the deck.

Chris Jones

Do you love the new look? So you get the same view of your seat.

1. Hang it up

Hanging plants

Chris Jones

Hang shade-loving Boston ferns from your rafters in self-watering pots. Vary the depth for an informal look that goes with your back deck.

2. Bring life into a corner

Plant and chair

Chris Jones

The bridal veil plant (Gibasis geniculata) is a shy little thing, especially in direct sunlight. Set it in a corner and let it run down the steps of your deck.

2. Add fragrance

Orange jessamin

Chris Jones

Plant orange jessamine (Murraya paniculata) as a small hedge in front of the deck. It grows quickly and thrives even more after a cut, but don’t take the scissors until the beautiful orange-scented flowers are done!

4. Set the scene


Chris Jones

Less is more in a patio garden, where plants shouldn’t interfere with your daily activities. Place them high or in corners where they can still be appreciated if you don’t keep falling over them. Hide a cloudy view with a vertical wooden screen that still lets in light.

5. Open


Chris Jones

By extending your yard to your patio, you improve your outdoor lifestyle without enduring hostile elements like rain or fierce afternoon sun. At the same time, you make a subtle transition from outside to inside.

6. Fill in the gaps


Chris Jones

You can plant around thirsty trees with shallow-rooted plants such as black- and red-leaved cordylines (Cordyline fruticosa ‘Negra’ and Cordyline ‘Rubra’).

7. Coloring


Chris Jones

Put patterns of Neoregelia (members of the bromeliad family) in your garden. The rosettes of the leaves can be streaked, spotted, or freckled, and change color as the flower approaches.

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