I have a small outdoor area into which I can fit a table, chairs and some pots, and the ground is a rough cement. There is very little daylight, so can you suggest pot plants that will provide some ambiance. Also, how should I disguise the concrete?
As bright, flowering plants need sun and are therefore unlikely to thrive, concentrate instead on creating a green, lush feel. Focus on texture and form using foliage plants such as pots of hostas, feathery ferns, trailing ivies, spiky phormiums and rustling bamboos or Tetrapanax and Fatsia japonica. If you have walls or fences, grow climbers to make use of all the space - try Trachelospermum jasminoides (pictured), from Crowders. Introduce splashes of colour with containers of annuals throughout the season. With your pots planted and furniture in place, the eye should be distracted from the concrete.