Our Outdoor Space

We have a tiny back yard and, even after seven years here, we still miss having a proper garden even though we are not very green-fingered.  We occasionally sit out there but it's not very inspiring or pretty.  It's always in need of a 'touch-up' because we are an end terrace so we get the brunt of the weather.  It's a hard space to do anything with because it is so narrow with no ebb and flow but it gets all of the afternoon and evening sun in the summer.

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We bought

  • Builders sand & cement (£9.08)
  • Masonry paint (15.98)
  • 2 x filled hanging baskets and brackets (£13.96)
  • Plants and compost for hanging baskets in the shed  (10.98)
(and I promise, that is not a fix.  We just bought things we thought we would need and it added up to exactly £50 after a discount on the plants that was available on the day.)

We already had

  • additional paint
  • hanging baskets
  • best branded rolling trays 
  • a wind ornament that Kev keeps telling me is a waste of money
  • furniture
  • a barbecue

Jobs that needed doing

  • tidy up
  • level the floor
  • paint the walls, windowsills, back step
  • clean the windows
  • hang the hanging baskets
  • fill the wall baskets
  • fix the outside light
  • clean the barbecue
  • clean the chairs

How we did it

I learnt how to make and lay concrete.  That is my biggest achievement of the year.  It might not be perfect but it's a huge improvement and hides the cracks in the floor that were there.  The back step had a corner missing so we used surplus cement to shape and create a new corner.

We repainted the walls, the windowsills, the ridge tiles on the top of the dividing wall (and since the photos have been taken we have also painted the back step and drainpipe).

I hung the hanging baskets on new brackets.  I mixed all the plants up and, after watching a few "how to" videos on YouTube, planted the wall baskets and we screwed them to the wall.  We had one spare so that has been hung under the shed window at the back of the yard.  I also upcycled an old watering can (you can see it on the window ledge) and some yellow buckets I found in the shed and made them into planters.  It's a shame that they aren't yet in bloom as I'm sure they will be gorgeous when they finally come out.  (See the end of the post for the flowers that I chose)

The chairs were scrubbed with hot, soapy water and I may still make some cushions for them if I can find some material with an interesting "outdoors" pattern on.

The light was fixed and now works on a sensor.  I hung my wind ornament under one of the hanging baskets.

What do you think?

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As promised, here is a list of the plants I have used in the baskets and planters:

Upright Lobelia (Cambridge Blue)
Petunia (Red Morn)
Petunia (Rose)
Petunia (Cool Britania Mix)
Snapdragon (Pink)
Upright Geranium (Red)
The two hanging baskets are assorted Petunias

Here are some more pictures of the work in progress 

#roomforimprovement, moneysupermarket

#roomforimprovement, moneysupermarket