Now the weather is finally turning warmer, we’ve started a bit of an impromptu spring spruce up of our patio area. I hate the cold so much that I could easily refuse to venture into the back garden at all during winter months and as a result it always looks a bit forlorn by the time it’s warm enough to want to spend time out there again. Tangled ivy, weather-worn furniture and weeds make it look very uninviting which is such a shame because it catches the afternoon sun and is a lovely size that we could really use to extend the living area.
Here are a few pictures of it at various points in the two years we’ve lived here – it runs along the back of the house with steps up to the lawn. There are two dilapidated cupboards with a built-in brick BBQ between them that we’ve never used and despite so much potential we haven’t really done much with it until this year.
As you can see, it’s been unloved for so long! I cheered it up a little bit back in March when we paid a visit to Columbia Road Flower Market and I picked up some colourful pansies to go in the pots in the corner, taking it from this to this. The pansies are still going strong two months later and add such a colourful focal point when we look out of the dining room.
But it was really a couple of weekends ago that we started in earnest when both Saturday and Sunday were beautifully sunny and warm. The previous owners had left a lovely rectangular patio table in really great condition which we discovered a good few months after we moved in, when we ventured out of the gate at the bottom of the garden to discover we had a whole separate storage space backing onto the garage. We didn’t do anything with the table at first but I finally convinced Pete to drag it out of the storage to replace our battered little round one and with a bit of a clean, it looked lovely. We then sanded and stained our patio chairs to match and what a transformation!
Next, the pretty Acer with its fiery red leaves has been relocated from the top of the garden. We picked this up from a local garden centre early last Spring and I didn’t really know what to do with it, so when all the leaves crinkled and fell off I assumed it had died and was delighted to see it tentatively coming into bud again this year and in the new position it’s doing better than ever.
We’ve started to refurbish the cupboards either side of the built-in BBQ, using Cuprinol ‘seagrass’ for the doors and a pale grey for the frames and knobs – this is still a work in progress but there will be enough of the green left over to paint up some wooden boxes so we can add more planters to the patio and make it all co-ordinated.
We’ve also bought some shelves for the BBQ itself so we can actually use it, it seems such a shame bearing in mind it’s already there not to take advantage, and some new post lights to replace the old-fashioned Victorian looking ones which don’t work. Our plan is to have Pete’s Mum and Dad down for her birthday towards the end of June and to try and finish with all our little updates by then. For now, last but by no means least, Clas Ohlson very kindly sent me these beautiful outdoor solar-powered basket lanterns in a small and large size and I am absolutely in love with them.
There’s still so much to do, we’ve got some pretty lanterns to hang behind the table and I’d love to fill the tops of the cupboards with terracotta pots full of herbs because we have zero space in the kitchen. Already though we’ve spent more time out there enjoying the new space in the last two weeks than in the previous two years and I’m excited to keep working on out outdoor space over the next few weeks.
I’m currently running a giveaway with Clas Ohlson to win £50 to spend at their online store so if you’d like to enter, please do check out this post here.
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