Container Garden on a Deck by Archadeck

Container Garden on a Deck by Archadeck

Now that the weather is finally (finally!) warming-up, St. Louis homeowners are more-than-ready to head outdoors for their annual ‘spruce-up-the-backyard-ritual’.

In the aftermath of a long and difficult Midwest winter, things will undoubtedly look a little dreary.

Begin by tidying… mow the grass, rake dead leaves, clean off the deck.

And as long as your deck passes the safety check-list, bring out the outdoor furniture and grill!

Oh, but what if the deck still looks a little uninteresting and uninviting?

No worries.  Dressing-up an empty deck is a snap, you just need some easy-care plants and color-filled foliage to enhance that winter-worn space.

So here are some tips for ‘deckscaping’  — aka gardening on your deck.

Custom Deck Planter by Archadeck

Custom Deck Planter by Archadeck

Tip #1 – Add plenty of color

Color adds life to any living area, inside or out.  And color can be added in a lot of different ways with plants.

Boxes with flowers and greenery provide a simple approach to immediately alter the look of your deck — season by season.

Use mums in the fall, evergreens in the winter and of course, flowers in the spring and summer.

Create a color theme with ceramic urns and foliage to complement your house and deck.  Tie it all together with coordinating furniture, weather-proof cushions and throw-pillows.

To save money, personalize inexpensive terracotta pots or even baskets by painting them in a variety of shades to reiterate the overall color-scheme.

Tip #2 – Vary sizes, shapes and heights

Deck by Archadeck with Planters

Deck by Archadeck with Planters

Ramp up interest, privacy and shade by varying the shape and size of garden containers as well as their height.

A strategically-grouped arrangement of boxes or pots avoids clutter and creates a nice focal point for a very big effect.

Tall plantings all in a row such as bamboo or native grasses and small trees, ie. evergreens, create defined areas and block unwanted views too.

Deck and Shade Pergola by Archadeck with Hanging Plants

Deck and Shade Pergola by Archadeck with Hanging Plants

Incorporate extra shade by hanging plants from a pergola or lattice arbor.

Plants in rounded kettles, jars or buckets will soften the edges of an angular deck.

And an odd number of plants grouped together generally looks better than an even number.  Who knew?

For dimension and depth, don’t be afraid to combine vertical with horizontal containers to achieve a beautiful, multi-layered look.

Tip #3 – Go low-maintenance

Low Maintenance Deck with Planters by Archadeck

Low Maintenance Deck with Planters by Archadeck

Go low-maintenance with foolproof plants to avoid being held captive by a fussy deck-garden, unless of course you really love gardening!

Pick and choose native species that require little care.  Select rugged ones that will thrive no matter the climate (hot, dry, wet, humid) or conditions (shade, direct or indirect sunlight).

Style-wise, carefree can still be very ‘showy’.  Check with the Audubon Society or Missouri Botanical Gardens for more information.

Mobilegro Garden Container

Mobilegro Garden Container

Tip #4 – Consider existing space or add built-ins

If you have plenty of open surface space, you can set attractive containers directly on and around the deck; however, it’s best to have a pot with feet or an elevated plant-stand so decking doesn’t stay wet allowing moisture to get trapped directly on the floor.

If there’s a shortage of deck floor space, hang your garden from the rails, pergolas or privacy walls.

You can use flowers, shrubs, creepers and more to highlight an entryway, brighten up a seating area or soften a straight wall.

If you’re replacing an old deck or building a totally new one, then built-in planters are a must-have feature to incorporate into any deck design.

Riverstone Eden Mini Greenhouse with Herb Garden, Home Depot

Riverstone Eden Mini Greenhouse with Herb Garden, Home Depot

Tip #5 – Think outside the planter-box

Nowadays there are gizmos and gadgets designed for portable deck gardens, edible deck gardens or even greenhouses.

It’s possible to grow, not only flowers, but tomatoes, vegetables and herbs on your deck in hanging or moveable containers as well as in a mini-nursery that can be moved indoors when the growing season ends.

Key Takeaways:

Now that the weather is nice, don’t stay cooped-up inside the house; head outdoors to your deck, porch or patio.

If your existing deck is structurally sound but not as inviting as it could be, look for economical ways to update and enhance it, starting with low maintenance plants and flowers that are easy to change by the season.

Pair up pots and plants in visually pleasing combinations by alternating sizes, styles and heights.  Think beyond standard-potted plants and try your hand at portable herb gardens and vegetables too!

Finally, if you want to build a new deck or replace an old one, be certain to boost its functionality with the addition of built-in planters in the design.

Ideas For Gardening On Your Deck by Archadeck

Ideas For Gardening On Your Deck by Archadeck – Pin It! –

If you reside in the St. Louis or surrounding area and are considering a custom deck, screened porch or other outdoor living space for your home and property, please give Archadeck a call at 636.227.0800.

We’re conveniently located in West County and serve the entire metropolitan region including St. Charles, St. Charles County and portions of Illinois.

Visit us on the web at

There you’ll see photo galleries of our completed projects and an easy-to-submit online inquiry form, ‘How Can We Help?”. Or for locations nationwide, go to and key in your local zip code.

Sources and Citations:

Archadeck – Beautiful Backyard and Loving Outdoor Living Blogs, Midwest Living, Lowes, Better Homes and Gardens, This Old House, Garden365, Archadeck Chicagoland, Archadeck in Columbus, Archadeck in Central Conneticut, Mobilegro, Home Depot