SPRUCING up your patio for summer? Garden centres are gearing up with smaller varieties of fruit bushes, vegetables and flowers to help people make the most of their outdoor rooms

We all used to go out and buy annual bedding plants to give summer colour to our patios – but now we can be so much more adventurous.

Patio varieties of fruit, vegetables and perennials are all widely available and becoming increasingly popular, as garden space diminishes and urban gardens flourish.

“We’ve seen a continued interest in patio varieties, even in our ‘grow your own’ selections,” says Mark Sage, head of horticulture at Wyevale Garden Centres.

“Things like terrace patio fruit – varieties which are grafted on to a rootstock which means they get up to about 5ft tall – will thrive even in smaller spaces such as a balcony on a flat.”

There are tomato ranges which do well in hanging baskets, along with colourful salad leaves and other veg. Fruit has also come a long way from the traditional citrus that you grew in a large pot in the conservatory.

“The continued interest in ‘grow your own’ has seen breeders working extensively on getting really good productive, tasty fruit and vegetables suitable for container gardening, particularly on fruit trees,” says Mark.