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This patio has raised planting beds around its perimeter for growing herbs and annuals. The Penland Studio in Knoxville, TN.

Incorporating planting beds is a great way to soften your hardscape. Planting beds are most often placed on the edges of a patio to provide places to grow plants, flowers and even trees. A corner next to your house is a great place for a flower bed, because it rarely gets used for anything else.

You have two options for patio flower beds. First, you can simply leave a space unpaved on the same level as your patio. This option requires a bit more maintenance but can help create the lush look of plants spilling over onto your patio. Second, you can have raised planters built. Raised beds are easy to maintain and great for growing vegetables. The raised walls of the beds will also provide additional seating on your patio.

Size and shape are important when designing planting beds around a patio. If you make your beds too large they will overpower the patio, and on-the-other-hand if you make them too small they will be overpowered. Try marking out the shape and size you are considering and see how it feels in relation to the patio. Generally, if you have a square patio, square planting beds will look best and if you have a round or free-form patio, curved planters work well. Sometimes the size and shape of a planting bed is dictated by what you plan to put in them. For example, if you want to feature a fountain or sculpture with plants around it, make sure to plan for those features.

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