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A patio will add a charming continuity between your indoor and outdoor spaces. You can add a tellis and grow vines as well as add trees to create shade for your patio. Be careful when choosing your vines, as these often need to be pruned so they do not run wild. Some vines are also susceptible to inspects or pest, causing the constant dropping of leaves and debris.

Remember to consider the summer breeze. This is a great advantage during the hot summer months, so plan you’re planting so you can take advantage of this soothing breeze. You may still want to incorporate a wind break of some sort for protection. You can create this by using fast growing, dense shrubs. 

Your windbreak should not block out the summer breezes. The terrace at the foot of a slope, though protected from winds, could be both very hot and very cold. Provision must be made accordingly. Cold air, like water, flows downhill to collect in pockets at lower levels unless some means are used to permit it to drain away.

Enclosing your terrace creates a trap. You will notice a very cold floor and that your plants are more susceptible to frost. Use a low fence or hedge to divert the cold air from the terrace, allowing the air to curve around the terrace. If cool air circulation is needed, one or two openings, like gates, can be opened and closed depending on the desired air flow. 

If your desired look for your terrace is to incorporate as many plants as possible, be sure to leave space between the floor and the side walls of the house. Twelve inches is needed for vines,  two or more feet for shrubs, or consider using planters or boxes. If your terrace is not enclose by a house wall, you may want to add a low hedge or flowering shrubs to create the feeling of enclosure. 

The more spacious the terrace the more spacious the plantings! If you’re flooring is made of flagstone or other paving, most if it should be covered in shade during the hottest part of the day. You will need to keep a three foot minimum space between the house wall and the floor to use for planting. For heavy planting use evergreens, rhododendron, azaleas, and other broad leafed evergreens suitable to your area.

It is best to find plants that can avoid pests so you do not need to spray a small terrace. It is best to use perennials and annuals during the spring and summer months, as this is economical and add stunning color and create a charming picture for your setting!