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20 Ideas to Make the Most Out of Your Deck Garden

Mint herb garden on backyard deck



Even if you’re limited in terms of outdoor space, it doesn’t mean you can’t build your own charming deck garden. Finding workarounds for the most effective planting set-up doesn’t have to be a challenge, and you can have a backyard garden that you’re proud of.


Check out the suggestions below and see what ideas you can try out for your outdoor deck garden this summer!



1. Hanging Herb Planter

Herbs are easy to grow and maintain, and they’re a joy to have in your backyard when you don’t want to go to the grocery store every time you need to use herbs in a recipe.


Look into DIY or store-bought herb planters and see where you can hang them on your deck. Countless railing planter options are ideal for herbs, and it makes it easy to maintain them as well.



2. Off the Rail Garden Box

One of the keys to deck gardens is to maximize the space you have to work with as much as possible. This includes using your deck railings when you can. There are a variety of different railing planters to choose from, that are available in a wide range of styles and sizes.


Make sure you choose a planter that will properly fit on your railing and stay as secure as you need it to, and you have the option of adding several different plants to your deck garden that you may not have otherwise had the room for.



3. Ladder Planter

An old ladder may not look like a potential spot to house your plants, but don’t turn your nose up at the idea of it just yet. Depending on the style, a wooden ladder can serve as an excellent shabby-chic, farmhouse item that also stands as a place to stack some potted plants.


Repaint it to suit your colour scheme or leave it as is (distressed wood can look great depending on your deck’s decor theme), and position your ladder in a corner or against a wall. Arrange your plants on the rungs and break up the space with some hanging options as well. Not only will it take up minimal space, but it can also look great as well.



4. Raised Vegetable Beds

Beginner gardeners can grow easy vegetables like tomatoes and herbs in pretty much anything with the right resources and materials.


Simple, raised vegetable beds that are positioned along the edges of your deck can help you squeeze in more space when your options are limited.



5. Crate Garden

Crates are an incredibly accessible storage option and they can be styled in a variety of practical ways. No matter what particular look or size you’re going for, you can find crates that fit your vision, and often for little cost.


One example is to stack cedar boxes and artfully secure them to a wall. Plant your preferred garden picks inside, and voila! You’ll be left with an eye-catching deck garden that doesn’t overwhelm your space.



6. Stacked Pots

A tiered garden is an inventive way to optimize your deck space.


Tucked away neatly in a corner of your deck or patio, stack descending-sized pots on top of each other. To prevent the upper tiers from sinking into the soil, place upside-down pots underneath.



7. Utility Cart

Utility carts can be adapted to suit almost any purpose you desire, which includes your garden.


Transform your cart into a rolling planter, and fill the shelves with small potted plants. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, plant your garden directly onto the shelves and fill it with moss to cover up the soil.

The benefit of the utility cart is that you don’t have to be too committed to the placement you choose. Roll it wherever you see fit.



8. Hanging Plants

You can get surprisingly creative with hanging plants and use them to your advantage.



Hanging plant on pergola


For example, if your deck has an attached pergola, hang flowering plants and lush greenery from the beams above. As well, you can install hooks to deck posts or railings to hang plants off the sides of your deck. Any spot where plants can be hung frees up precious floor space.



9. Lattice Planters

A simple wooden lattice can be the perfect place to hang planters. Not only can it serve as a huge space-saver, but lattices can also fit almost any design style and are an attractive backyard addition.


Hook your pots in the lattice’s spaces and optimize the large amount of surface area they offer. As well, strategically planting vining plants can be a perfect way to cover a lattice with natural growth.



10. Different Heights and Layering

A big theme with saving on space is knowing how to stack and layer your materials appropriately.


This is one of the most important tips you can use to get the most out of your available deck area. Use differing levels of pots and plants to your advantage and know where the best spots are to organize them.

Work with corners, place planters along the edges of stairs and railings, and don’t be afraid to maximize height with hanging plants in underused spots as well.



11. Plant Privacy

The right type and properly sized plants can be used for privacy purposes as well as decorative.


Fill in the open space of a slated wall with creeping ivy, or accomplish some clever coverage with deliberately placed shrubbery or potted trees. Creating or enhancing a privacy wall can be done effectively with the right plants, and will add attractive lush greenery to your backyard in the process.



12. Accent Flowers

If you have a limited amount of space, it’s important to make the plants you choose count. Be intentional with your gardening picks–accent flowers can enhance a space greatly, and you don’t need an abundance of options to achieve an eye-catching look.


Colour-coordinate your flowers and plant pots, and position them in high-traffic areas of your deck so they stand out. The right combinations will speak for themselves and you won’t need to overdo it or squeeze too many plants into every corner to overcompensate for bland vegetation choices.



13. Miniature Zen Garden

Zen gardens don’t need a lot of surface area or too many elements to come to life.


A successful zen garden can be achieved with a Japanese red maple, some bamboo stalks, and a small area to sit and enjoy it.



14. Garden Pond

There’s nothing more relaxing than the sound of a trickling pond. Luckily, you don’t need to have a huge backyard to acquire an outdoor pond for yourself. Aqua scaping can be achieved even with a limited amount of space available to use.


There are countless small pond and fountain options to choose from for your deck that can be incorporated into your garden vision. Some have planters inside of them, others offer options to add fish–the potentials are truly endless.



15. Trimmed Hedges

Adding neatly trimmed hedges along the edges of your deck can not only stand as another added layer of privacy, but they can enhance the overall intimacy of your space and provide some subtle greenery as well.



16. Garden Shade

Without enough coverage, decks can become quite hot and overwhelmingly sunny in the summer. Invest in plants that can provide you with shade as well as added good-looking greenery into your backyard.


Group together lush palms and overarching tropical plants that thrive in full sunlight and higher humidity. These are great options if you want your deck to feel like a tropical paradise–while still providing some relief from the hot sun.



17. Pops of Colour

Much like accent flowers, the colours you choose to incorporate can be what really pulls your deck garden together.


Colour can be added simply and subtly through the use of bold pots and planters. As well, look into adding bright statement plants like hibiscus flowers, daylilies, and alstroemerias.



18. Mason Jar Propagation

If you prefer the farmhouse aesthetic, then this option is for you. Mason jars are all the rage with this style of decor, and they’re remarkably multipurpose in terms of their potential. Consider using mason jars the next time you want to propagate plant cuttings or seedlings.



Plant propagating in mason jar


Simply fill some jars with dirt and your choice of plants, position them along the railing of your deck, on the rungs of a garden planter, or even attach them to a slated wall.



19. Skinny Gardening Bed

Often when people think of gardening beds, they picture giant wooden beds in the middle of a sprawling backyard. Planters like this don’t have to be limited to homes with a large amount of outdoor surface area.


Gardening beds can be customized to suit the amount of space you have available. Long, skinny gardening beds that can be positioned against the walls of a deck are perfect for a variety of plants, including herbs and certain vegetables.



20. Trailing Vines

Use quick-growing vines to your advantage. Many trailing vines like ivy are easy to maintain and take no time to build up impressive growth.


With a few of these hanging plants positioned over your outdoor dining area, your deck can look like a lush villa getaway.




Remember, you don’t need to have a large backyard to have a beautiful garden.


Your deck can serve as just the right spot to put all of the plants and flowers you desire. Use these tips when planning out your next outdoor project and watch your deck come to life.




Steve Livock at 9:00 AM
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