A small patio can be both beautiful and amazingly productive. In the containers above are: golden chard, English thyme, spicy chilies, and rosemary. The most efficient way to grow lots of herbs and greens is a traditional herb jar. The bronze herb jar to the left is filled with red and green butter lettuces, the jar to the right contains chives, chervil, mint, and herba buena, a California native mint.
This is a view of my driveway area shot 4 or 5 years ago showing a bed in the foreground with purple flowering anise hyssop, red salvia, pimento peppers, purple osteospermum surrounded by a short boxwood hedge. The patio, which we call the barrel garden as it has many recycled wine barrels, is not only colorful, it is extremely productive. A tomato archway made with hog wire anchored in two wine barrels welcomes you into the area. Other edibles on the patio include poblano peppers, a Mexican herb called papaloquelite in front of the red salvia, and behind the red salvia is a blueberry plant, and above the blueberry is the thornless blackberry vine, Black Satin. Other edibles on the patio that are out of view include two more blueberry bushes, two zucchini bushes, and many culinary herbs. The arbor in the background is covered with Christmas lima beans. The tall, whimsical, pink flowering annual peaking around the arbors is an old heirloom plant called Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate.