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Guest Post: Plants on the Deck

June 21, 2012
by thenestinggame

Today I’m thrilled to feature a guest post from Houzz contributor Becky. Houzz is a great website FILLED to the brim with amazing photos and home inspiration. They have a great search function, too. (That’s a real treasure in web world! Pinterest only gives results that users have described with your search term.)

Read on for some lovely (and timely) deck inspiration!


Hello everyone! My name is Becky and I’m a contributor at Houzz, a home design site focused on helping design professionals and homeowners manage the remodeling and decorating process. Thanks so much to Molly for having me!

First of all, I cannot figure out how I live in the same city as someone who makes summer beer and has a Pac Man pillow and not be best friends with her already – I love this blog! I just had to get that out there; now let’s get down to business. Because Molly and Taylor’s deck dreams are coming true, I thought it would be fun to look at how to add plants to their deck area. If you are interested in incorporating large planters to a deck, it’s important to talk to your contractor before you start construction to make sure it is built to handle the weight of the plants, soil and planters, and that you are able to place them where you’d like them. You can also have them incorporate built-in planters or windowboxes into the deck design. Here are a few options to consider.

Eclectic Patio design by Seattle General Contractor Logan’s Hammer Building & Renovation

Incorporating window boxes into the railings provides a great transition from deck to the view of the greater landscape along the edge.You can go for large ones like this, or have smaller ones built into the tops of higher railings.

Contemporary Patio design by San Francisco Photographer Alex Amend Photography


Add height and interesting shapes with tall planters. Many lightweight planters in all sorts of shapes and sizes are available on the market today. Using a row like this adds a rhythm to the deck. Shrubs clipped into round shapes are a nice contrast to all of the straight lines on this modern deck.

Contemporary Landscape design by Other Metros Landscape Designer Ascher Smith Landscape Designs


Look to bamboo for a tall, architectural plant structure. You can spread it out to emphasize verticality as you see here, or plant the trees closer together to create a living privacy screen.

One more note about working out your deck plans with your contractor: Think about whether you’d like some built-in seating, perhaps with storage for items like throw pillows, hurricanes and candles, trays and other items you’ll want to protect from the elements when you’re not using them. I can’t wait to see what Molly and Taylor come up with as they go from graph paper to a real live backyard perch.

Find more inspiration from Atlanta landscape architects and more design professionals at Houzz.


Thanks, Becky! Sounds like we have a ton in common! (At least Pac Man and Summer Beer are are great start.) I love those raised planter beds. Now I just have to work on my green thumb.

You can check out the plans for our new deck here. Since then we’ve chosen a contractor, gone to the county to get our plat, gotten a survey done, alerted the utility companies, checked out stain options and are in the process of getting a permit. Boring stuff, but progress nonetheless!


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