Is a planting bed surrounding a patio pretty?
March 4, 2013
I have a mildly sloped lot so a patio will be built on a raised gravel/soil. I was told most people cover the surrounding area with top soil and mulch and plant flowers. I just don't find it attractive however well the planting bed is maintained. But I was also told that it is the most affordable option. What should I do? Should I just go with the planting bed? Imagine one on the picture but without the sitting wall.
[houzz=La Grange Park Residence]

Or do I make some kind of retaining wall and keep it as a lawn. I can have lawn with or without a wall, I guess. It would be just a sloped lawn. Didn't necessarily want to pick a modern-looking one, but this pic explains well what I have in mind in terms of not having a bed.
Randy Thueme Design Inc.
Or like this one.
[houzz=Historic Renovation in West Chester, PA]
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Ironwood Builders
If you don't like the planting beds and don't think them nice...then they aren't. Planting beds take a bit more work to maintain than lawn. Weeding, feeding, mulching, taking out and putting in plants annually or seasonally. The West Chester raised patio with the retaining wall looks like what you describe as an ideal. Do your take on that. Retaining walls do cost more than dirt, it's true. But it is your home and your decision. I'm more partial to retaining walls, myself. Of course, I live on a steep hillside...and the resultant "level" areas are full of plants.
    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:44PM
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It seems clear to me you are not enamoured with planting beds so here are the options:
If you are looking for the affordable option - then let your lawn grow down the hill.
Woodside One 02 (Design by Lutsko Associates)

However, if you are looking for more expensive but finished option - then the wall separating your patio from your lawn will create a more finished look

However if you can be persuaded there are many low-maintenance options for planting beds that can give visual interest, colour and movement to a garden and it might be worth investigating these if you are open to them. (Even from an ecological point of view, you can provide food and shelter to bees, insects and birds) - Certain rambling roses and lavender work prolifically in some climates and the more you ignore them the harder they work!
Historic house in Centerport
Front Garden
    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 12:30AM
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Thank you both!! I decided to go with lawn & the wall without the planting bed. I'm adding a planter like this instead. That way, I can have both! [houzz=
    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:34PM
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