Have Patio, Need Sun

Cloudy days are good for photos right? And for transplanting? 'Cause we've had plenty of cloud and rain to encourage all the plantings to take hold that S moved to around our new patio this morning.

Overall we're really happy with how the patio turned out. It was way more work than we expected; the retaining wall is truly a retaining wall that's two feet high, not the eight inches we'd originally expected. We compensated the landscaper accordingly despite the contract we signed on the first day of work. It was only fair, and he did a top-notch job. Plus, it was still a ridiculously good price for the amount of work and materials required.

I love that we essentially created two full walls of planters, one 18 feet long and the other 16 feet long.
We replanted what we think is spirea because it was thriving in the mostly shady area. Between the three plants, we stuck a few Japanese holly (faux boxwood) that we dug up from in front of the shed. We took the grasses that used to be along the back fence and stuck them right at the front edge of the patio to soften the edge of a little step-down that was necessary for proper drainage, but we hadn't accounted for in our original plans. We hope they'll do a little better with more sun.
S edged out the grasses with bricks, which we'll set into the ground at some point.
At first I was disappointed with the unanticipated step-down along the front of the patio, but I'm really liking how it creates a defined area for our picnic table. The table is prepped and ready for a big makeover, which needs a few dry days to tackle. It was left outside, untreated for several years and is a little worse for the wear, but I think my plans will take this handcrafted little table from tired to fab. It was made by a woodworker in Rangeley, Maine, who milled his own wood and built cute outdoor furniture all while legally blind. I have a soft spot for the table.

Because we took the patio all the way to the edge of the shed, we had to move the shade-loving ferns. We moved them to the shadiest part of the patio planters, in the back planter near the new grill spot. We have a few more to transplant from near our chimney, where they seem to be getting too much sun.
Finally, we grabbed two mature spirea from our front walkway landscaping that was over-planted by the previous owners, probably in a effort to make the area open-house ready, and moved them to the two empty spaces flanking the shed doors where the Japanese hollies once lived. I like how the mature plants fill in the open space and balance out the large doors.
I'm also loving the new stepping stones leading from our back entry to the patio and shed. I wish I could say that this "s" curve was the original layout for the stepping stones, but let's just say that the stones are heavy and our landscaper earned his bonus moving them and inch here and there as I pointed and made an effort to move them myself without toppling over. In the rain.

If it ever stops raining and we get a little sunshine to go along with these awesome fall temps, maybe we can pack up our laptops and head out to enjoy our new patio while catching up on our backlog of blog posts.

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  1. I love it! It looks so nice! I also just stalked about a month and a half of your last blog posts and added you to my reader!

  2. Looks so lovely and useful! Love it!


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