Wednesday, February 19, 2020

So the back patio shrank...

When we enlarged our kitchen last year, the back patio shrank.  The 70 square feet we added to the kitchen had to come from somewhere.  We moved our patio bench, chairs, coffee and side tables, and outdoor rug back into place soon after we reoccupied the renovated portions of the house in December.  The outdoor dining table remained in my husband's workshop for repairs required after someone dragged it out of the way, damaging the base.  He got around to fixing and refinishing it last week and moved it back onto the patio, along with the not-so-pretty support system we'd previously had in place for the large umbrella we seldom used.  Even though we'd already moved some things elsewhere, I thought the area was much too congested.  I suggested an "adjustment."

I couldn't find many "before" photos as of course I didn't take any prior to our renovations.

This photo was taken near year-end in 2017.  I wasn't able to precisely replicate the angle for  an "after" shot as that Echium in the foreground on the left side of this photo is much larger than it was 2+ years ago.

The chiminea on the right was moved to the bromeliad/succulent area near the garage at the front of the house in December.  The shelf and pots below the old kitchen window (not readily visible here) were moved prior to renovation with no intent to bring them back.  The huge umbrella stand on the left was the major bone of contention between me and my husband.


When I noticed that the new roofline shades a bigger section of the patio than the old one did, I suggested swapping out the dining table and bench arrangements.  In its new spot, the dining table is in full shade before 2pm so it looks as though we may be fine without the cumbersome umbrella or its stand.

This is the revised layout, photographed in early morning

View of the same area from the back.  A side benefit of the new arrangement is that the 3 pots of blueberry shrubs behind the bench get more sun.

Most visitors automatically seat themselves on the bench or the cushioned chairs.  Now there's no furniture between them and the ocean view beyond the garden.

They can also see Buddha and his cat

Mr. Frog approves


Here's a wide shot of the area.

When I viewed this photo, I realized the cushions that belong to the table chairs were missing

I dug them out of the linen closet

The circle pot was hunted down and replanted last week


The interior dining room and kitchen spaces now mesh well with the colors used on the back patio.  I'd like to say that was the result of careful consideration on my part but it was actually pure serendipity.  The throw pillows on the outdoor bench are temporary stand-ins for pillows now on order to replace those I tossed out last year.  Now, if I could only find plants to fill in the empty spaces left when that huge trench was dug to replace the corroded gas line last November...


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

25 comments:

  1. The third from last shot really shows how much smaller your patio is now. However, I think it makes the space more intimate with the new furniture arrangements emphasizing the spectacular view.

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    1. With the extraneous elements (like the ugly umbrella stand) removed, I think it feels like a more comfortable space too, Elaine. The paths between furniture and the few remaining pots are wide enough to navigate. Ideally, I'd like to downsize the dining table a bit but that's not worth fighting over. (My husband made the table from the top of a firewood-fed spa that was left behind by a prior owner and I don't think he'd take the suggestion to rebuild it well.)

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    2. Compromises always have to be made especially when something is hand made. My husband would have the same reaction.

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  2. What lovely views you have from the patio and inside the house. I am so envious of the views and the light you must get inside. I bet it's wonderful to have things back in place just in time for spring. Be sure to take time to enjoy!

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    1. You and I are on the same wavelength, Cindy. I was thinking just yesterday that, in a little while, I could start taking my breakfast outside with the morning paper.

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  3. I think it is grand that you don't have to use an umbrella or have the contraption that holds the umbrella. It is one more thing that won't be blowing in those winds you have. I like your layout. You still have plenty of room for people to mill around.

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    1. The umbrella WAS more trouble than it was worth, Lisa. Even with its base well-anchored to the ground, a good gust can send the umbrella itself spinning.

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  4. I meant to ask why you have your table legs sitting in what appears to be plant saucers since they are on pavement? I would be afraid they would collect water and hasten the rotting process.

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    1. I forgot to comment on that! The plastic saucers are temporary. My husband stained and sealed the wood surfaces and, in the past, until it weathers a bit, the materials tends to stain the paving stones.

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  5. I can imagine that swapping the table and bench, makes both more appealing to use. Lovely to enjoy that unobstructed view!

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    1. When I sit in the garden (which isn't often), I tend to sit on that bench so I appreciate the new arrangement too! We only use the table when we have people over for dinner or dessert to watch the fireworks over the harbor.

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  6. The new layout makes much more sense and divides the two areas into their separate functions. I like it! And no worries about finding plants for the trench, I have complete faith inspiration will strike your garden genius. :)

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    1. I initially thought I'd just plant replacements for what was there, Eliza, but then what's the fun in that?! To start with the situation provides an opportunity to pull up stepping stones put there by past owners in spots I don't need them. I'll probably start by digging those up and supplementing soil that hasn't been amended in who knows how long.

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  7. I would spend every spare moment out there, gazing over that marvelous view.... I have no doubt that before spring is over, you will have found something cool that will thrive in the trench. Have fun deciding on what it will be! :)

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    1. Anna, I'm willing to bet that, within weeks if not days, you'd be so caught up in gardening activities that, like me, you'd hardly ever look at the view!

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  8. Oh gosh, you certainly live in paradise! So dreamy. Serendipity or careful planning...whatever works, and this certainly works. Lovely setting; lovely design, Kris!

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  9. Now, if I could only find plants to fill in the empty spaces left when that huge trench was dug to replace the corroded gas line last November...


    Shopping opportunity! Go for it.

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    1. A friend and I had a trip up to Carpinteria and Santa Barbara planned for Saturday but it looks as through there might be a rain delay :)

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  10. I was thinking the same thing as Hoover Boo. Bare soil? Not for long! And your entire patio area is beautiful. I bet you spend a lot of time out there.

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    1. I spend a lot of time in the back garden but almost never sit down, Grace!

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  11. No umbrella seems like it must improve the view from inside the house too? A winner!

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    1. The umbrella was mostly stored away, dragged out only on the odd occasion when we had people over for lunch when it was neither too cool nor too hot to eat outside - that is, not all that often! However, the ugly umbrella stand, weighted down with concrete blocks to keep it from flying away, was out all the time...

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  12. Less truly is more with the new patio. We have a shade issue on our patio too (faces generally the same direction as yours) and we aren't changing the roof line to give us more shade. We've settled on a pergola that is in its early gestational stages but I have nerves about whether it will be acceptable to the both of us when it is done, if ever.

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    1. Best wishes with the pergola, Brent! Before our remodel last year when we faced the prospect that our mimosa tree might not have long to live, I was contemplating a pergola too. I don't think that would work for us now with the new roof line so I'm really hoping the mimosa hangs on for another decade or two.

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