Guide to low-maintenance gardening

From low-water plants to simple projects, our guide to easy gardening will make a green thumb out of anyone

30 easy gardening tips & projects

Discover quick fixes and easy, manageable projects to transform your garden

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Dress your patio
Thomas J. Story

Dress your patio

Go for a tropical island vibe with these easy design tips.

Use big pieces. It may sound counter-intuitive, but petite furniture makes a small space seem tinier. A few oversize pieces, especially chairs, on the other hand, make it feel more generous than it actually is.

Keep the color range narrow. Use analogous colors—ones next to each other on the color wheel, such as yellow and yellow-green. Too many competing hues in a tight space are jarring.

Take advantage of vertical space. Hide it with a row of clumping bamboo. Then stick a bouquet of Balinese umbrellas in a pot to show off against the green background.

Reinforce your theme. Go for a lush look—giant leaves (elephant’s ear), bright plants (croton), and glamorous tropical flowers (orchids, brome­liads, ginger).

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