Saturday, 16 July 2011

plans for the patio

This is our patio, home of the much-loved chiminea, the not-loved massive table (that we never use), and the small table we drag around to follow the sun in winter and shade in summer.  Last summer we decided the space just wasn't working - our sun umbrella wasn't big enough so we never actually sat on the patio, we always hid next to the fig tree where the chairs got covered in bird poo.  So we have some plans for a change - probably a covered pergola so we can get some nicer furniture and be protected from the summer sun.
But there were some necessary first steps involved.  The plants in front of the mosaic needed to come out.  Not only are they growing into the space quite a lot, but they'll be undercover and die anyway.  I planted some sage elsewhere and I already have another rosemary bush so I'll still have my herbs.
But the second problem are the cumquat trees.  They're very cute but they're right where the pergola legs need to go.  Plus they're so big that I have to trim them about three times per growing season to keep them to a reasonable size.  They intrude quite a lot into the space.
So I put the cumquat trees on eBay, like I did for the ficus trees, and they sold for quite a decent amount!  The best part was that the buyers did the grunt work to dig them out (with a bit of help from us).  Hopefully with a good trim they'll spring back to life quickly enough.  But now our patio is so empty!
Next steps are to decide for sure what kind of structure we want and sell the table, chairs and umbrella on eBay.
Once the whole space has been taken care of, I have three beds to fill with plants - the side in front of the yuccas and the two front bits where the cumquats used to be.  I'm thinking mixed perennials in front of the yuccas for a bit more screening.  I'm not as sure about the two front beds.  Maybe some more herbs or veggies, or maybe just seasonal annuals.  Annuals are a good short-term solution whilst I decide what to do.

I'll keep you posted as the project progresses, but hopefully we'll have a great little setup well before summer.  I can't wait!