When I think outdoor space, I have this image in my head from when I was a little girl in my home country and I used to play in the balcony in the summer when it was raining. It was something magical about the sound of the rain, the smell of the wet earth, the warmness outside despite the rain and the image of the clouds above the mountains in the distance and over the high hills just in front of our balcony. I was lucky enough to spend the first ten years of my childhood in a picturesque place in Romania, close to the mountains where spending the holidays hiking and foraging wild berries were a given.
We were also lucky enough to have both a vegetable garden and a huge balcony where we had a dining corner and a playing area. It was the latter space where I used to sit for hours when it was raining, listening to nature and taking all in while playing or trying my hand at poetry. It was there where my first poems and my love for rain were born.
Moving into this country came naturally to me as I absolutely love rain! There is something poetic about the rhythm of the raindrops and the movement of the clouds just above us that I could never get tired of. But enough with the introduction as this post is supposed to be about decorating our patio on a budget.
When we bought this house, it was important for us to have a small space outside where we can relax and also a place to bring back beautiful memories. Unfortunately, we haven't got a covered area for when it's raining but we are thinking of creating one. I would love to be able to sit outside despite the weather and enjoy the nature around me just as I used to when I was a little girl. In the meantime, I am trying to create a relaxation haven that suits both my husband and I without breaking the bank.
You may have already seen this re-purposed drum that became a meadow planter with just a coat of paint. This image is from last year, but we are hoping to have more colours this year and become a proper meadow. I will come back in the summer with photos as there isn't anything to show at the moment. I love meadows as they remind me of the wildflower fields from my childhood, full of daisies, cornflowers, wild carnations and poppies.
We also re-purposed the bathtub; as the bathroom had both a shower cabin and a bathtub, we decided to take out the latter. The tub became a planter with bulb flowers in spring and hopefully a colourful meadow in the summer. I will create a post about the whole transformation process later on but in the meantime, here are a couple of photos from last year in autumn when we started to add some plants to it and from early spring when the crocuses were in bloom.
Both the bathtub and the drum have been moved as you will see in the other photos, but in the below picture you can also see a re-purposed cooking pot that my mum brought over from Romania when she came to visit. I used it for many years until it burnt, but I didn't want to throw it so it became a lavender tree pot.
Furniture and accessories
We have a small table and chairs that we bought a few years ago on sale from John Lewis using a gift card that we got so no money was spent on them! There are also a couple of wooden chairs that my husband brought home from a recycling centre. I painted them one in raspberry pink and one in blue-turquoise and they serve as relaxation spots in the patio.
As for the accessories, I absolutely love these mix and match chair pads from Delightful Vintage UK; they complete the decor and give the patio a cottage-vintage look. Other accessories: garden signs (made by me and bought from a charity shop), watering cans, terracotta flower pots and colourful melamine dining set bought on sale from TK Maxx. Result!
Plants and flowers
I am fascinated by the English gardens where there are flowers in bloom all year round. I am not sure I can create that, but I am hoping to have at least spring and autumn flowers like primroses and pansies, spring bulbs like crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils (we only had crocuses and one snowdrop this year but we are hoping for more in the coming years) and meadows in summer. We also have jasmine for the smell and two white roses that we will try to train to grow on the trellis. When I was a little girl, we had roses in front of the balcony and their blooms were spectacular. We always had fresh cuts in our vases so this is something that I wanted to re-create in our patio.
We started building up our garden last year, we added a few more plants, including herbs this year and we are hoping that it will be properly established by next year. I will come back with photos in the summer and I can't wait for the flowers to bloom.
As for the colours, I quite like the pink from Fuchsia, Cyclamen and Geranium. The roses will be white and we also have blue Lithadora. I wasn't sure how colourful I wanted the flowers to be considering that some of the furniture pieces and accessories are quite colourful, but I am hoping to create the right balance between colourful areas and more neutral and white areas. It is still a work-in-progress.
As I was trying to get ideas for patio decor on a budget, it seems that I have created a brand new hashtag on Instagram #patiodecoronabudget. If you have such a project, please post it on Instagram so more people can get inspired and share their ideas. I will definitely post some more these days so feel free to join me 😄 .