As I exit my back door, there’s a small courtyard patio area, then some steps. To the left are the old coal store and outside toilet and a shared access runs along the garden – not a problem as the new neighbours seem really nice and we’ve had a couple of chats across the fence.

After that is a bit of a slabbed area, shed and beyond that, lawn.

Today I decided to make the courtyard patio into more of… well – a courtyard patio.

This is what it looked like before:

The patio before

The patio before

I’d seen a fab little idea for turning pallets into planters, so the first job was to paint the fence behind and my newly acquired pallets a lovely shade of sage green. I then stapled pieces of strong plastic into the gaps, poked holes in the bottom for drainage and planted them up with herbs, lettuce and strawberries. The plan is to step outside my back door and harvest with gay abandon – as soon as everything starts to fill out, of course.

Next stop – garden centre. The youngest and I soon filled the trolley with both stuff for the patio, and some shrubs for the garden.

After a hefty trip, a boot-load of plants came back, and the first job was to prepare the patio for the new offerings and scrub the slabs. Not having the luxury of a jet-wash any more, I set to work like a bona-fide Victorian housewife, armed with nothing but a bucket of diluted bleach, a scrubbing brush and and lashings of elbow grease.

That done, I set to work potting up some of the new purchases: Margarita and Ostospermum for pots, and some Nasturstium for the set of three hanging bags. I’d picked up a little bistro table and chairs set in the week, so that completed the area.

The patio now

The patio now

On a roll now, I whizzed off to the bottom of the garden and poked in some canes for runner bean supports. In went my beans – I confess, I bought ready grown ones from the garden centre – I have a limited collection of seeds, and no greenhouse at the moment – maybe next year might bring a different tale. I’ve also grown some red Brussells Sprouts  and some courgettes on the windowsill, so they went in as well.

It’s a happy old feeling to have started the veg plot, and am so pleased with my patio- it’s a really nice place to sit now.  A job well done, methinks 🙂


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