When the lovely people at Homebase asked me whether I wanted to take on the challenge of creating a patio garden, I could not say no. How could I describe our outdoor space? That’s a tough one… Let’s just say it is the most neglected part of our home, so my garden goals are pretty simple, really: I want to make it a nice, inviting place where we can make the most of the sunshine (is it ever going to stop raining?) this summer.
Right, a bit about our garden. It is definitely on the small side, like most gardens in an urban environment. It was bigger when the house was built in the late 19th century, but in the 1950s, the owners sold half of the garden to neighbours, who turned the space into a garage (I wish we had that garage… storage heaven!).
Basically, it is small. Estate agents would probably describe it as ‘bijou’ and easy to maintain. It is. There is a small decking area where we could fit a small table and chairs, a tiny patch of messy ground where I grow raspberries, peonies, Japanese lilies, irises, poppies, bluebells and other random flowers. It really is small (no more than 1 metre 50 by 50 cm) and these grow at different times of the year (when they DO grow!). You can just about see it on the right hand-side in this photo:
The rest of the small patio is paved, and serves as some sort of messy outdoor storage for our 3 bins, my husband’s huge Guzzi motorbike and the children’s bikes.
In a nutshell, it is not your ideal garden, but it is a patio and it is ours. It is also a gorgeous sun trap in the summer, so it is absolutely perfect for a bit of paddling pool action and to get sun loungers out.
We had a loft conversion done last year, and the garden was used for rubble and builders’ tools for about 6 months, after which it took another month or so to clear completely. My little patio garden needs a lot of love and care to become the space I want it to be. I am determined to transform it into an extension of my home; an outdoor room where I fancy sitting with a book in the summer, where the children can have a splash and we can have a BBQ with friends. At the moment, I let the children draw pretty much anywhere with chalks, but it will all change soon!
The lovely people at Homebase sent me lots of tips as well as tasks to complete (I love a challenge!), which should really make a difference. They also sent me a voucher to help towards my purchases and I went to my closest Homebase store this week, with two of the girls, who behaved pretty well.
Although I had a vague idea of what I needed, I was not fully decided on colours to choose or specific things to grow, so I asked for help straight away. Luckily, one of the ladies in the garden section was not too busy so she listened to my ideas and helped me choose various pots, veg to grow and colourful bits to brighten my patio. I will not tell you too much now as I want to make it all a surprise. Watch this space, I will be back in a couple of weeks after I have done my homework, which consists of an hour’s work, half a day’s work and a whole day’s work. I don’t have green fingers, so it could be interesting…
Disclosure: Homebase sent me a set of challenges to help achieve my garden goals. They also sent me a voucher to help towards my purchases. All photos and opinions are my own.