In my spring goals post I banged on about our plans to craft a patio area at the bottom of the garden. Well so far it’s not going too well as I have zero inspiration for how I want the space to be. Well I do, it’s just that Pinterest is ruining all my plans.

Here are several before shots of the space. The plan is to keep the backdrop of shrubs but remove the firepit and boy scout campfire style seating leaving an area for a largish patio decked with loungers, outdoor sofas or some other form of seating.

We’ve had a chat about a raised deck area but discounted it as can’t be bothered with the maintenance. I had grand plans for a sunken patio but James is less keen so this brings me on to the standard patio plan.
These photos were taken about 5pm and you’ll notice the large shadow of the tree coming in from the left hand side. I know it seems sacrilege but our neighbours tell us the tree is too close to the house so we’ve decided to get it cut down so we get the last of the evening light here.

Let’s all start by looking at the ruddy gorgeous backyard of one of my style crushes, Sarah Sherman Samuel. While I’m not going to be lucky enough to get a bougainvillaea anywhere near my Northamptonshire plot, I was thinking with my tall shrubs coupled with a pergola would make a poor man’s equivalent.

However you’ll notice Sarah’s area is somewhat bordered on one side by a wall decked in the green stuff and on the other she’s created a partition with a row of potted plants. I’m worried mine is going to look a little bit, well, plonked. With so much of my inspiration stemming from patios leading from the house or nestled against walls I’ve been a bit overwhelmed. I also think adding another pergola so close to our other one might be overkill too so the current plan looks a little bit like this:

  • Level off the area as it’s on a bit of a wonk
  • Trim back the shrubs so we don’t lose too much of the lawn
  • Add a curved patio edged in something fancy so it doesn’t just drop off into the grass
  • Either side of the new patio, remove some of the lawn to create curved shaped beds, edged in the same way as the patio and fill them with low maintenance shrubs
  • Add in a winding path from the current pergola up to the new patio
  • Add a very simple wooden or metal structure above strung with fairy lights or festoons

I’m well aware that last year we had grand plans for the patio near the house. There was even talk of an outdoor kitchen but all we actually got round to doing was adding a bin store. Super glam. I’m hoping this year we can be more productive.

As always I’ve got my eyes on the prize and have already been checking out potential seating options such as this beaut of a wicker outdoor sofa from Maisons Du Monde or maybe some form of combo of the Ikea Applaro sofas. I’m in love with the M&S Melrose Sofa but it’s a bit out of my price range so we are looking into either customising something ourselves or maybe even building in-built seating.
I’ve ordered another string of the Next festoon lights I had last year. They’ve got terrible reviews though so I hope they haven’t changed supplier as I loved the ones from last summer.
Hopefully I’ll have some progress to share and in the meantime feel free to check out my Pinterest board with some of the ideas I’m hoping to incorporate.

Anyone else embarking on a garden project? Any bright ideas for my patio? Please let me know if you’ve created anything similar and how you approached the planning stage.