I measured my back yard on the weekend. Honestly, people have bigger living rooms than this! The total square footage is 323 sq feet – 19′ running the width of my townhouse and 17′ from the building to the gate.
The down side of this is that there’s only so many things I can do here. The up side is there’s only so many things I can do here! That’s not as contradictory as you might think. You see, if I take my time and come up with a plan, I can have everything I want. If, however, I get caught up in the “we could do this… or this… or this…”, I’ll be left with the same messy space at the end of the summer!
I sat myself down and asked myself what I want in this space. How will I use it?
My self thought about it for a bit, and decided it wants a place for 1-3 people to enjoy as a relaxation spot. A spot where the Ogre and I can share a cup of coffee at dusk, where a girl friend or two can sit with me and bask in the sun with a glass of sweet tea, where I can sit and enjoy the view. That’s all. No large parties, no grand scale anything. Just a cozy green space with the ocassional bloom and scent to enjoy.
The patio faces pretty much due south – that’s the 19′ fence with a gate. East and west are both 17′ walls. The walls closest to the house are about 6-7′ tall, while the fence at the end of the space is 4′ or so. I haven’t yet gauged the sun and shadow, so I’m not sure about plantings yet, but I do want ALL of those fences covered with green. Not necessarily blooming climbers, but green. Something that will enclose the space, but also expand it by visually implying that there is more green behind it all.
I’ve spent the last week or so thinking about the space. I’m fortunate in that the previous tenants had over half of the space covered in pavers, so I have lots of options for making an actual patio space. Due to the size of the “room”, I’ve decided on a small dining area of 8’X10′. Just enough space for a 3′ glass topped table with two chairs and an umbrella. I found the table and chairs at the Salvation Army ($20!!!) and got four chair pads from the curb. The chair pads have gotten a thorough washing (2 at a time in the washing machine), and are ready for a coat of spray paint to freshen them up. I’m not worried about the texture, since outdoor fabric tends to feel plastic-y anyway.
Across the room, I’ll have a 4 foot garden bench in iron and wood. I picked up the bench from the curb on my way home one day. It needs new wood and a lot of TLC, but I think it’s going to be a terrific addition when it’s done.
That’s it for furniture. I’m not even concerned with a barbecue, since we don’t own one right now. I’ll worry about placement for that when the time comes.
I’ve taken a little bit of time to create a floorplan. It’s not elaborate or exciting, but it does show what I’m hoping to achieve. The orange area will be mulch. The light grey is concrete tile.
Even though it’s a small space, I definitely want it to have a bit of variety. That’s why I’ve got plans for planting around the patio and the walkway, as well as having the patio off to one side, but not against the wall.
The rest of the planning will be plants. I’ve got several catalogues coming in the mail to peruse and study, and I’ll be watching for the sun/shade out there. It was a bit too cloudy to gauge that last weekend, so I’ll try again on Saturday.
If you are a gardener, feel free to post any ideas or suggestions! Honestly, even with my friend’s help, I’m gonna need a lot of support for this!
I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have. I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).
Thanks for stopping by.