My outdoor patio was in desperate need of a makeover last year.
I’m actually embarrassed by the photos but it makes for an incredible before and after story. To give you a little back story, I rent this home so part of me does not want to spend a lot of money on something that is technically not mine.
I tried to use temporary solutions like those ugly plastic lattice squares which I actually thought were cute when I first put them up. Over time, they got beat up from the sun and elements and faded and curled and they just did not look cute anymore… especially in these pictures. I was also growing plants in pots which were a total fail. Not only did they look awful, pots did not allow the plants to thrive. The amazing thing is they didn’t die, they just didn’t thrive.
As you can see from the above photo, the door on the left leads to the garage. This courtyard patio is between the garage and the house so we walk through here multiple times a day. It was in desperate need of some love. This picture was obviously taken during a busy time because everything looks a little (or a lot) overgrown and out of control.
I’d been wanting to build planter boxes so the plants had a fighting chance. I knew it would be an investment but I had to bite the bullet. Although I’m a renter, I want to enjoy my living space. I love being outdoors when the weather is nice and this space was not cutting it.
So…I had planter boxes built. I wanted cedar but that material is not readily available and when I’m ready to proceed with a project, I’m ready. Redwood was available, so redwood it is!
I also wanted the square lattice and not the diamond lattice. The square lattice gives it a more modern look. The goal was to have climbing vines cover the lattice over time. I already had jasmine, honeysuckle and some other flowering vines “trying” to grow in pots.
We left room in the corner for the water fountain I’d been dreaming of for years…
Once the lattice wall and planters were built, I attempted to stain them myself. As you can see, I did this one section and said screw it. I ended up hiring one of my handymen to paint it for me. Worth every penny because I have zero patience and it was hot as hell!
The dark slate blue stain made such a big difference and really allows the greenery to pop. Keeping it the raw redwood color was not an option!
I replanted my climbing jasmine and honeysuckle that were in pots. It was pretty sparse because I had to cut off a lot of dry leaves and tried to keep as much of the good parts to hopefully grow now that they had room to take root in the fresh potting soil. I also had a drip system installed so that I wouldn’t have to worry about watering the plants. I think this made a big difference in the overall health of the plants.
To say we’ve come a long way baby is an understatement. My plants did really well through the end of the year. I was actually worried about all the rain we had this past winter/spring season. My plumeria didn’t do very well. It took awhile for it to dry out. I’m hoping it’ll start growing leaves again soon…so far they’re bald.
Here’s the new and improved patio post clean-up and refresh for the Spring/Summer season.
As you can see, the vines are doing really well. Between the jasmine and honeysuckle and the gardenia on the other side, my garden smells pretty delicious.
This is the view from above if I’m looking out from my home office window…kinda cool!
The fireplace wall is looking bare, but the plan is to add a large piece of art that Alexa is working on above the fireplace. The HOA strongly frowns upon installing anything into the stucco wall. You can see remnants of old jasmine vine that once upon a time (over a decade ago) used to sprawl across this wall. The HOA tore it all down when they repainted the units. So sad.
I’m also planning on adding a gas burner to the fireplace which will be fueled by a propane tank. This was built into the plans last year and it just didn’t happen.
Here’s Alexa starting the painting last year that never got finished. She will finish it this year!
And honestly, my favorite view of this space is at night…the cafe lights add so much ambience. I love dining alfresco when vacationing or just going out at night so this is a little piece of paradise in my own backyard. I also love the bluetooth light and speaker attached to the umbrella base. I turn on music when I’m outside chilling or cleaning up. Creating the right ambience is very important!
Hope you like my little backyard paradise as much as I do. I look forward to using this space as much as I can this summer.
This was an investment but I’m so happy with the results.
Enjoy the video tour here