If you've decided that growing flowers on your patio requires too much planning and supervision for your taste, try planting a cactus garden instead. Cactus is a variety of succulent with thick, fleshy leaves that retain moisture. This makes it a perfect choice for sunny, hot, dry locations like a hot patio in August. Cactus plants can have very colorful blooms and are available in lots of interesting shapes and sizes. Because they're an unusual addition to the garden in many locales, almost any cactus can become an interesting focal point.
When growing cactus, be sure to provide pots with excellent drainage. Since cactus plants have evolved to survive with access to very little moisture, they won't handle the bounty well if their roots are exposed to standing water. There are special cactus soil mixes on the market designed for these special plants. If you're new to gardening with cactus, using one of these prepared mixes in tandem with pots that have large or multiple drainage holes is your best bet for creating a healthy cactus patio garden. For added drama, create a grouping of cactus specimens on a table or ledge. You'll have tall and slender, short and squat, and even brain-shaped varieties to choose from.