My kitchen has windows at both ends, the garden wraps around the house and in the summer the sliding doors from the sunroom/dining room are always open. Over the last 15 years children have run in and out with muddy boots or sandy feet, showing me a pebble which unravels and reveals itself to be a woodlouse or bringing me a daisy chain or a bunch of dandelions.
At one end the kitchen overlooks a shady patio garden and Mr TS built a playhouse and a sandpit where the children spent hours on hot sunny afternoons and cold rainy days (the sandpit had a roof, it was brilliant!). But now most of them are grown and even the youngest is too big for sand pits or playhouses.
Last year I gave away the playhouse. The sandpit was deconstructed and its sides burned to keep us warm in winter. I stopped looking out of those windows if I could help it, I missed the sound of them playing together. It looked sad and neglected. It was in sore need of a makeover!
I wire brushed the back wall to remove all flakes and the last of the persistent ivy before applying two coats of Dulux smooth white masonry paint and I instantly felt better about the whole thing! Bonus Boy and I swept the patio clean, weeded between the slabs and scrubbed it as hard as we could with a stiff brush before Mr TS and I carried the bench across the garden to its new location.
Bonus Boy and I spent a very happy afternoon potting up the new plants I’d bought and arranging them so they can be seen when we’re chatting in the kitchen and enjoyed when we’re sitting outside. A couple of storm lanterns on either side of the bench mean that we can enjoy summer evenings out there even when the sun has gone down. A selection of evergreen plants, some perennials, bulbs, climbers and plants of differing heights mean it will look lovely all year round. Because everything is in pots in a patio garden I can ring the changes and move things as they pass their best.
The view from the kitchen is much nicer now…
In the summer the main garden has no shade in the late afternoon so I think we will end up sitting in the patio garden quite often. It’s also a very nice spot to revise, the sun doesn’t blaze down on your white pages and blind you and Mum can pass you cake and tea through the kitchen window!
The patio garden has evolved. I opened the kitchen window, turned the radio on and took my crochet and a cup of tea outside and it was good…time has moved on and that’s fine.
I sat and dreamed. I could hear that laughter and the shouts and tears when things went wrong. I remembered the day they had sat in the sandpit with the lid lowered down over their heads while torrential rain bucketed on top of them and I laughed at them through the kitchen window. I remembered the mud pies and sandy drinks which had been concocted in the playhouse kitchen and the brass number 5 on the door – chosen by our eldest when he was 5 years old – and a smile spread across my face.
Bonus Boy came home from school, threw his bag down and joined me on the bench for a biscuit and a natter. My Darling Girl came and admired the flowers and told me about her day and my Second Born wandered over with a cup of tea. I’m looking forward to showing it to The Eldest when he’s back for summer!
Within an hour of my planting this Nelly Moser Clematis the first flower had opened and this little chap had come to drink – I think this patio garden will work, don’t you?
I’m already making plans to improve this little space even more – I think a bistro table and chairs under the kitchen window would be lovely and some fairly lights would make it all look magical at Christmas! I suspect quite a few photographs of food and crafts will be taken and that this area may well become quite a feature here on Thinly Spread! For more patio garden ideas do check out Becky’s post “Patios make the Prettiest Backyards“.
Do you have a neglected space in your garden which could do with a makeover?
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