Sunday, 10 August 2014

Dreaming of patios

Why is it that you can never find the photos you're looking for? I've been trying to search out some decent pictures of the flat to follow on from my first post about how it used to look. However, I just can't seem to find them. I have an idea that they might be on a different computer so I'll have a look and hopefully I should have them to post next week.

So, to patios! I am of course talking about a patio at the bungalow. When we first bought the place the area next to the conservatory (complete with small sloped patio) looked like this:

Then I decided to attack clear the area and it started looking a bit like this:

Then SBB got involved and cleared the lot in an impressive, and enviable, short time:

Over the next couple of months SBB took out that mammoth bush (which can be seen in the top left of the above photo) took out that ghastly railing and broke up the existing patio and the steps (in the top left corner). He then set out the place for the new patio with boards and we were ready for aggregate. But, for the next two years the empty muddy space of our patio was abandoned in favour of other, more pressing projects, and our 'patio' became overgrown and looking a little sorry for itself. Until recently.

About a week ago SBB decided to start shifting the dirt pile remaining from when he leveled the area and the concrete that had been broken up. I started to rip up all the weeds, brambles and these weird velvety yellow flowers that smelt of cheap lemon washing up liquid. There were also stinging nettles and, despite my care to remove them without coming into contact with them, on lifting out one stem with the clippers one end happened to get stuck on a trailing vine and the other end duly wacked me on the arm. Ouch.

This is how the area looked yesterday.

We've spent today taking the rest of the dirt/concrete to the tip and clearing the rest of the weeds/grass and now the area is finally complete. Yay!

Naturally our thoughts have turned to what the patio would look like. We wanted something simple, but with character. Something neutral but not boring. Something without texture but not plain. And we wanted it all to come in at a cheap price. We initially started looking at paving slabs but with the average price coming in at £20 per m2 (for a 20m2 space) things began to look shaky.

SBB suggested a design with bricks to pad out the paving slabs and therefore costing us less. He liked the look of something like this or this. And I liked them but something just wasn't quite right. Then I saw this little beauty and my heart did a little pitter patter.

'Could you do something like this?' I asked. Not only did he say yes but suggested he could even do herringbone.

'Really?' I gasped, excited and hopeful. He sighed and muttered something about how it was typical that I wanted something that would be hard work. 

THEN I noticed this and pointed it out to him as a possible edging option. And by 'possible' I mean 'I really like it, can I have it please please pretty please?'

We really like the idea of having it in yellow brick rather than red so we probably wouldn't go for a different colour/darker brick to edge it as in the link above. It was only after I settled down happily to drool over herringbone brick patios that I realised our final idea is nothing like our original plan but I'm really looking forward to it. Not only will it incorporate SBB's skills (and that man does darn good brickwork!) but it will be special and completely unlike anything our family/friends have. I anticipate a few covetous stares...

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