You may remember back in May I wrote about my plans for a sunny patio near the end of the garden. As ever, you were all really helpful with the comments and reader Emma actually inspired us to think differently about the positioning of the paved area. Taking into account the fact our neighbours had one of their trees removed leaving us with a sunny area that had previously been in shade, we decided to pave the area just up from the original proposed site to make the patio less ‘plonked’ and more intentional.

We usually do most home improvement jobs ourselves. Well when I say ‘we’ I really mean James, but decided to hand this one over to the professionals. To be honest I wanted to enjoy the garden in 2017, not 2019. Work started the day James flew off to New Zealand and as it happened I was in London for a couple of days with work so at the end of day two I have to admit to pulling up on the drive with a bit of trepidation. Thankfully due to the joys of WhatsApp everything had gone to plan.

I’ve included some of the progress shots in the header above so you can see the hardcore going down and the slabs being put in place. In total it took three days from three men (so nine days of labour) to transform the under-utilised patch of grass and shrubs into our outdoor lounge. Although the landscape gardeners still need to pop back to turf the area around the edge.

We had originally spoken about constructing a pergola of some description over the top of the area and we haven’t ruled it out, however this year I just wanted to get the festoon lighting up. James bought three lengths of pressure treated timber suitable for outdoor use and secured them to the rear of the patio. The landscapers had to dig really deep to level out the ground and therefore had to put in a concrete barrier almost like a mini retaining wall which was perfect for securing the wooden struts in place. We then added galvanised hooks which make it really easy to take down and put up the lights when they’re not in use. The festoon lights are ones I picked up from Next earlier this year. We do have a lot of outdoor power sockets already in the garden but I’m waiting for the electrician to come next month and extend the power down here.

With the slabs all in place I went on a mission to find something to sit on. The most inexpensive, flexible option I could find was the Ikea Applaro which comes in individual pieces to put together in any configuration that takes your fancy. I like the idea we can keep adding to it over time and extend out the seating if the mood takes us.

I then piled in a few cushions from Next and B&Q, dragged out a rug from our bedroom and planter from the living room to get the spot ready for a few snaps. I need to put it out there that none of this gear is waterproof so I’ve only been bringing it out when the weather is kind. I am on the hunt for more durable replacements however the budget is running a bit low at the moment.

As you can see from the images in the header, the top patio nearer to the house needs a bit of TLC. The slabs for both areas are the same but the bottom patio obviously needs to age. This weekend we’re hoping to finish off a bit of a DIY upcycle on the wooden outdoor table and hopefully I’ll be able to share a few photos soon.

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