Friday, June 21, 2013

Before and after... back patio makeover


So the middle of June came and summer finally decided to grace us Montanans with her presence.  And let me tell you, when summer arrives in Montana, it is glorious! As soon as it gets warm, all I want to do is be outside if at all possible, morning, noon and night.  When we were first married, I never used to do much with flowers or really anything decorative for outside, but the last couple of years, I've been getting more and more excited about it. However, after a long dreary winter, our patio was looking a little... neglected.

(My dirty table!  Gross, huh? And below, the dead remnants of my little herb garden from last summer... sad.)
 Obviously, a little spiffing up was needed.  One major aesthetic improvement came when our vine finally got its leaves back.  As nerdy as it is, that vine is pretty much our pride and joy.  Since our patio gets the full-on afternoon sun, it didn't used to be very pleasant to sit out there for dinner, so probably at least five years ago Jesse and I planted this vine, but a couple of fierce hailstorms kept knocking it down as soon as it was getting big.  It's only been the last two summers that it's finally achieved the dreams we had for it all along, and now it provides perfect shade for our little table in the evenings!

And who doesn't love pretty little lights? :) I bought them last summer at Target and they were a great $25 or so investment.  They add nice atmosphere and actually put off a lot of light.
Does it look like I'm trying to block out the neighbors?  That's funny, because that's exactly what I'm trying to do!  Why?  I'm glad you asked.  It's because their back patio looks like this:

Pretty, huh?  (Please don't tell my neighbors I posted their back patio on my blog!) The bamboo shade was a freebie left over from someone's garage sale last year, and it's on its last legs.  This summer will, I'm sure, be its last. Then I'll have to come up with a new way to block out the ugly!

Next comes the fun part... flowers!  Jesse found four wine crates being thrown away and brought them home for me.  We turned them into two simple planters for flowers... I'll post a how-to on those soon. I love how they turned out and by setting them on the open edges of the patio, they somehow help to make it seem even a little more cozy and private back there.


And this lovely pot above is my mom's, but she left it at my house and headed down to St. George and hasn't come to reclaim it yet.  It was looking kind of lonely, so I  planted some flowers in it.  Much better than an empty pot, right?  Right!
 I apparently delayed buying herbs for so long that they were all sold out of the standards (basil, cilantro, rosemary, etc.) everywhere I looked, so I just decided to put flowers in the pot that had herbs last year. I wish I had herbs though.  Next year maybe I'll be organized and start my own seedlings early.

And there you have it!  Much improved, no?  My future plans involve a new doormat, possibly an outdoor area rug(??), and someday, my husband building me some modern patio furniture (this part may be just a fantasy, although he totally has the skills needed!) In the meantime, I'm looking forward to a long (I hope) summer of grilled veggie salads and cold drinks in this little spot of ours.


  1. Ooh absolutely loving your new back patio! Love the vines and that flower box. Great photos! Thanks for sharing! Xo, M&K at