How to Bring Spring to Your Patio — 5 Ideas to Transition Your Outdoor Space

Celebrate the joys of spring by incorporating these ideas into your patio

A backyard with sofa furnished with texture and color
(Image credit: Nicole England. Design: Studio Minosa)

With hints of spring in the air, our thoughts turn towards our backyard spaces that need some TLC after a long and dreary winter. Whether you have a slither of patio on your balcony, or a larger patio space that backs onto a lawn, following these five pointers will help get your patio into shape for the season ahead.

Focusing on your patio's design will encourage you to use the space as the summer months approach, embracing the extra room as an extension of your living room and creating a space that feels ripe for entertaining. From focusing on the colorful plantings to the furniture, these are the landscaping experts' backyard tips for patios that make the very most of this joyous season.

1. Light the space

A patio with overhead lantern

(Image credit: Maíra Acayaba. Design: Juliana Garcia)

Lighting is a wonderful way to make the most of your outdoor space, extending the hours that your patio is useable until dusk and beyond. Correctly lighting your patio can also emphasize the architectural features, casting clever shadows that bring depth and dimension. Picking modern garden lighting fixtures will also help highlight your favorite plants which will undoubtedly be coming into their own throughout the season.

In terms of style of fixtures, select up-lights that shine the light upwards and through the leaves, creating a silhouette in the space. Spike lights, like these from Walmart, sat in planters can also create a glow around the base of trees. 'Use outdoor lighting such as twinkling string lights (we like these from Lumens) or solar lanterns to illuminate your patio and highlight garden features,' suggests Michael Jursevskis at Paul Sangha Creative.

It's not just the aesthetics of the space, but decking lighting is important for the mood of your patio. 'As temperatures rise, spending time outdoors during the evening becomes more of a draw, and adding lights to your backyard is a fantastic way to make your space more usable,' says Katherine Aul Cervoni, landscape designer and founder of Staghorn NYC. 'I’m a big fan of cafe string lights mounted overhead, just make sure they are mounted a minimum of eight feet high or they’ll wind up feeling too low.'

Lanterns can also feel bohemian and should be artfully hung from a tree, shining light from above, or dotted along the patio. 'Lanterns set next to furniture or on top of tables with outdoor-friendly LED candles are also a safe and beautiful way to illuminate your space.'

2. Incorporate spring plants and flowers

A backyard patio with spring plants

(Image credit: Tajana Plitt. Design: Kate Patterson Landscape Design)

Nothing says spring quite light the joyful, colorful petals of spring flowers. Daffodils, crocuses, tulips, and peonies are some of the most popular spring flowers that will instantly bring seasonal joy to your patio.

Other spring blooms include the magnolia tree, which bursts with a pale pink bloom early on in the season, as well as foxgloves and forget-me-nots (try these from Amazon). If you get ahead of the game, plant the best bulbs for spring flowers around autumn and early winter.

'Pansies and violets are often the first floral offerings from plant nurseries in early spring and they give instant color and cheerfulness potted up on your patio,' adds Kat.

If you missed the boat on planting out bulbs in the fall, fear not, says Kat. 'Many nurseries will still have blooming narcissus, tulips, and hyacinths available for purchase.' Line your patio with pots full of these colorful plants and watch as your patio transforms with a kaleidoscope of color.

3. Encourage biodiversity

A patio with planters and shrubs

(Image credit: Ema Peter. Design: Paul Sangha Creative)

Another sign that spring is truly springing is thriving biodiversity. Even if you have a small slither of balcony and live in an urban setting, you can make use of your outdoor space to encourage biodiversity and help your patio become a haven for insects, birds and other animals.

When it comes to plants, growing fragrant flowers is a great way to stimulate biodiversity as pollinators like butterflies enjoy aromas from flowers. Trees and shrubs are also great for offering nesting areas for wildlife, especially if they produce flowers or fruit like crab apple trees, which can take up a cozy corner of your patio.

Water is a great magnet for biodiversity too. A pond will always encourage the local wildlife, encouraging visits from the likes of birds, dragonflies and frogs, but even a simple bird bath, like this one from Amazon, can help nature thrive come springtime.

'Add or refill a bird feeder or bird bath,' says Kat. 'You can also bring the sound of spring to your patio by adding a bird feeder or refilling ones you already have.'

4. Embrace color

A backyard patio with blue outdoor seating

(Image credit: Brett Ryan Studios)

You can always rely on bright color pops for bringing a spring feel to your patio. Adding container plantings in groups with colored flowers can go a long way, but color should also be introduced through furnishings. 'Think outdoor rugs, throw pillows, hammocks, brightly colored cushions on outdoor furniture.' says Cate Singleton of Tilly Design.

It's not just the soft furnishings either. I love HAY's outdoor Palissade furniture collection that uses steel in a joyous array of colors, powder-coated to retain its color, while a pair of bright Adirondack chairs might also be all you need to bring a cheery dose of color to your patio.

5. Create an indoor/outdoor vibe.

A backyard patio furnished with textures and color

(Image credit: Nicole England. Design: Studio Minosa)

Come the first signs of spring sunshine, the temptation is to throw open those back doors and embrace the outdoor space as an extension of your home. But creating a transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces isn't as simple as opening the doors. Incorporating texture to your patio helps extend that space.

'Elevate your patio furniture with bright cushions and throws in weather-resistant fabrics to add lively accents,' says landscape designer, Michael. 'The ritual of cleaning off and bringing the outdoor cushions back to the patio furniture signals springtime at my house,' agrees Kat. 'To give an extra springtime lift to your space, add a new throw pillow or two that will invite you to cozy up and relax outdoors.'

A rug is a wonderful addition too that can add comfort underfoot and help foster that indoor/outdoor vibe. 'Many shops are offering outdoor-friendly rugs that can withstand the elements and clean up easily, and adding a fresh outdoor rug to your patio is a quick and easy way to bring in a fresh pop of color and style,' says Kat.

The best outdoor rugs are often made from recycled plastic or recycled PET fibers. These repurpose already existing single-use plastics from things like plastic bottles, preventing new materials from being extracted from the earth and stopping single-use plastics from ending up in landfills.

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Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.