Plantscapes for Outdoor Dining

Al Fresco Dining

Al Fresco Dining by pdbreen

Outdoor Dining is a quintessential summer activity. For centuries people have been packing their picnic baskets, finding a grassy knoll and enjoying the beauty of nature and a delicious meal with friends and family. While the traditional picnic still exists patio dining at a restaurant is the easier and more common option for eating outdoors these days. This is the perfect opportunity for the plantscaper to help the restaurant owner create and inviting and beautiful outdoor eating space.

Diferent Outdoor Eating Spaces

There are many different kinds of outdoor eating spaces. There are patios with scenic views typically on a lakefront or riverfront. There is sidewalk dining on pedestrian dominated downtown streets.  And there are small suburban patios on busy thoroughfares.  All of these pose different challenges to the plantscaper. Patios with spectacular views need accents that highlight the view and that do not distract people from it.  Sidewalk dining typically needs simple arrangements that are small and can be brought indoors at the end of the day.  And suburban patios on busy streets need outdoor arrangements that allow patrons to forget they are in the city limits for awhile.

Finding the Right Container

The patios that are situated on lakes or rivers could be accented with the Gainey Aegean container. Simple foliage plants with interesting shades of green and silver can add understated atmosphere to the patio without distracting the diners from the waterfront view. You may also consider herbs to add some fragrance to the atmosphere. Better Homes and Gardens has an excellent slideshow suggesting different foliage combinations for containers. Some of the plants they suggest include sweet potato vine, coleus, purple fountain grass, verbena and licorice plants.

For suburban patios facing busy streets consider blocking out the traffic with Gainey Grande container. This tall container would be great for creating the outdoor wall that Martha Stewart suggests using

rounded boxwoods underplanted with trailing ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra.”
The Lechuza Cube Patio Patio Planter would work well for sidewalk spaces that need to be removed nightly. The coaster can be placed underneath so that the planter can be easily transported.  Consider using fun, seasonal arrangements for these dining spaces. Late summer is the perfect time for sunflowers and other bright and bold colors. And fall is approaching quickly consider using ornamental kale, ornamental grasses for height and straw-flowers or mums for color. Dried twigs, gourds and pumpkins are also great fall accents for outdoor containers.
You can also use the Lechuza Balconera Cottage Patio Planter on any patio with railings to surround the patio with eye catching arrangements.  This would create the quaint, inviting effect pictured above.
Many people enjoy beautiful weather with an outdoor meal. Your creativity, as you shape and plantscapes for outdoor eating spaces, could add the extra piece that perfects the restaurant patron’s experience. The inviting and charming atmosphere will keep patrons coming to their favorite patio dining spaces again and again. Finding the perfect container will help make the perfect arrangement.  Be sure to browse all of the container options at

Fiberglass Planters

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