The Landscape Guide


A patio is an outdoor courtyard, usually surrounded by buildings, largely paved and partly planted. The word 'patio' is of Spanish origin and is thought tome from the older word pati (or patu) meaning pasture - the land at the back of a house. Patios were used to keep animals safe at night and, as modern society developed, came to be used as an outdoor living room. This was, of course, the traditional Mediterranean use of garden courtyards.

In modern English and American gardens a 'patio' is a paved area near the house used for outdoor sitting and eating. It may have a building on one or two sides but is unlikely to be an internal courtyard like traditional Spanish patios.


Patio in England

Spanish patio

Patio garden in Cordoba

Patio in Cordoba