This weekend was the first time in probably 5 months that it actually felt like Spring.  The weather was dry and mostly sunny and although the temperatures are still on the colder side, there was a warmth in the sunshine that’s been sadly lacking from our lives in far far too long.   So taking advantage of that little bit of sun, we spent most of our weekend outside in the garden, weeding everywhere, tackling the ivy that seems to have taken over one of our side garden fences (I love ivy but my god it was like 3 feet deep!) and returning our little patio area at least partially back to it’s former glory

I still need to do a bit of weeding where those white rocks are – I might add another bag on top just to freshen it up and obviously everything is just newly planted in the pots so it’ll be a little bit before they get bigger and fill the planters.  And the small tree that overhangs the whole space to the right is only just starting to bud – once it fills in and the ivy goes really green, it’ll look much better again – it’s just a waiting game with gardens, eh?

In my head, I kind of want to get EVERYTHING left inside and out of the house done this year – but I know from previous experience that this is not likely never going to happen.  The kitchen worktops, the floors downstairs, the carpets, the hallway makeover, the bathroom refit, the front of the house makeover, the back deck extension… yeah, there’s only two of us and a finite amount of cashola.   Despite my logic, I do realise my brain at times looks a bit like this…

A reference to 90’s sitcom, Father Ted.
Those of you who have never seen it are seriously missing out – HILARIOUS.

Every year starts with wild possibility but much of it is not just budget- and time-dependant but weather-dependant.  Last year’s ridiculously wet summer (after a glorious start in the Spring) meant the outside plans of a deck extension had to be shelved.  Extending a deck that we couldn’t even enjoy seemed a bit silly really when the money could be spent elsewhere – as it went, we spent it on a new king-size bed – a decision I’ve never once regretted (I f**king love my bed).  But I do hope that this is the year it happens.  So far, the Spring has fallen flat – the weather freezing cold, snow fall in late March (WTF?) and winter hats and scarves a requirement whilst scraping my car windows at 7am – it feels like we live in far colder climate than we actually do.  Meh.

Nonetheless, working in the garden this weekend, getting new flowers for my pots and hanging planters, scrubbing the patio clean of months of neglect, a new set of hanging solar lights (my previous set had faded so dramatically that a new set was required), getting the bistro set out of winter hibernation… it just feels like everything is possible again.   Will the reality be the disappointment of another rainy summer?

So to keep my spirits lifted, aside from watching Father Ted on DVD, I decided to share with you some small balcony and patio inspiration – ones that I think are achievable and effective regardless of how short the season might be or how small the space.

This first one I was in love with as soon as I clocked eyes on it over on Caribbean Living.  The airy furniture including that gorgeous Acapulco Chair, bright planters and cushions, the little lights surrounding the whole space – I find it inspiring that a small space has been given so much life with just a few well placed furnishings and accessories.

While I do love neutral outdoor spaces that blend seamlessly with their surroundings (honest, I really do!), I can’t help being drawn to bright colourful boho spaces.  This tiny balcony has been gorgeously kitted out with wicker furniture, a diagonally placed rug (trick of the eye that one) and loads of greenery and potted plants.


Another teeny balcony with maximum coolness – a metal bistro set, colourful cushions and drinks?  Erm.. yes please.

Here’s another one… sweet no?  I totally want to sip my morning cuppa here with the sunlight and the sounds of a city waking up below me.

Can I show off another balcony?  I can, can’t I?

Oooh go on then.  Lovely rug, lovely view, throw off those shoes and enjoy.

Maybe an outdoor barcart too?  Oh why the heck not!


Perhaps some amazing peacock chairs to finish it all off…


Sometimes my English Garden dreams look like this…

Or like this…


The reality of what I know I can accomplish, my impatience for letting things mature and the requirement for something very low-maintenance, means spaces more like this are probably closer to what is actually achievable.


I’d love to add a cute little tablecloth to my bistro table and some cushions and really dress the space if the weather allows me to.  The back deck also desperately needs some help but the plans to extend it need to come before I can really do much with it.  There is loads of potential to make the deck fantastic so could you do me a favour and keep your fingers crossed that the weather actually cooperates this year?

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