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Since my last post on the patio projects, B has built a beautiful large planter box and replaced some of the front deck with trellis and I have scrubbed and stained the deck. I thought I would share some of the pictures with you so that you can see some of the work that has been taking place here all summer.

Since June, we have repaired, scrubbed, stained and renovated the entire front deck (the patio is attached to the right side of the deck). I will share all of the before and after pictures with you in the coming week in a series of posts.

Below is the planter box in progress. For most of the patio and deck projects, B was able to salvage odds and ends from the shed and rarely had to buy new wood.

The planter box was built to my specifications. I wanted to be able to put two large plastic pots inside so B measured the pots and built this custom planter box to match the trellis beside it. This box also serves as a half-wall which closes in the ‘outdoor room’ quite nicely and adds a bit more privacy when sitting at the table. By this time next year the boxes will be overflowing with flowers and tall ornamental grass, adding even more privacy.

Next year (phase 3), I plan on sealing the concrete with a warm honey color, adding two comfortable lounge chairs for the chiminea, and adding lots of large and medium pots for herbs and flowers to the patio area. I am also on the look-out for a large, circular outdoor rug.

Here is how the patio looks today:

To the left of the patio area is the right side of the front deck and it includes an interesting arrangement of rocks as a focal point. Here is what it used to look like just two months ago (this is what you look at while sitting at the patio table). Notice the old, faded deck stain which gave the cabin a sad, neglected look…

The rocks are piled quite high to high a gap in the boards. B decided to remove a few of these boards and install more trellis to match the patio trellis. He also kept going when he got to the cedar tree and added trellis to the decking behind and beyond the cedar. This was a lot of work and was tedious to install but was really worth it. It really makes the area feel cleaner as you no longer have to look at the uninspiring view under the deck. I also removed the metal fencing from around the cedar.

In progress…

Below is the final project as it looks today. Once the trellis was in place I no longer had to use so many rocks in the arrangement and I think having less improves the look. The dark stain on the deck adds a very nice crisp contrast to the cabin and it makes the rocks stand out more instead of blending in with everything else around it. I put a bright red pot on the right side of the rock platform and plan on putting a splashy water fountain in the main area of the rock platform (phase 3). I will also be adding some rock garden perennials in the the crack and crevices of the rocks.

These improvement to the deck and patio area cost very little money and a reasonable investment of time, creativity and elbow grease. With just a bit of effort, we have transformed an open and exposed, uninspired area of concrete into a cozy outdoor room that we use constantly now for meals and evening fires.

In a few days I will show you the improvements we made to the herb and tea garden, the creation of a ‘Zen deck’ and the freshening up of the reading lounge…