Before And After: The Patio

Once more, wet and warm described the day’s weather.

Although we have created a gravelled patio at the south end of the garden, there always was a designed one alongside the back of the house. This, in April 2014 was full of weeds and the surrounding areas were overgrown. Our project is a continuing one, so will no doubt evolve still further, but The Patio is the final section, prepared today, for the garden album.


On 7th May 2014 the area was dominated by next door’s photinia and lonicera hedge; and our own ficus and poplar.


By 13th, we had weeded the cracks between the paving stones, but not yet disguised the blue painted Butler sink;

Rose, fig, and unidentified tree all trimmed

by 27th, our trees were trimmed;

Patio corner

and by 28th the sink was surrounded by rocks on shingle, and we had refurbished the boundary with our neighbours, using a length of ornamental wrought iron and a useless door from inside the house.

Scooby in patioScooby on the prowl

This corner was festooned with flowers on 14th August when Scooby had a look round, then went on the prowl.

Mum and Elizabeth with Derrick reflected

After an unusually cold August, it wasn’t until September 14th that we enjoyed afternoon tea there with Mum and Elizabeth. Note that the side gate is still fixed and covered with trellis.

Rat 8Rat 1

The rocks around the sink, on 1st January 2015, provided useful cover for a rat attracted by the bird food.

Ficus roots 18.9.15

We tried to maintain the ficus with heavy pruning, but eventually decided it had to go. I finally removed its roots on 18th September.

Jackie planting pansies 19.9.15Pansies in patio

The next day Jackie planted up the vacant space in which pansies were blooming on 12th October.

This afternoon I printed and pasted the Gazebo Path section into the album.

Chicken thighs baked in West Indian chili sauce; special fried rice; and mange touts, cob corn, and carrots were produced by Jackie for our dinner this evening. A selection of Tesco’s cream cakes was to follow. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Reserve des Tugets Madiran 2012.


  1. Your garden is always so inspiring to see. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful pictures from the garden. I really enjoy every post I see 🙂

  2. I come to start catching up and what a great post to do so! 🙂 How can you still be having warm weather in November? I am pleased for you but the world has gone nuts, as confirmed by the rat eating the bird food maybe? 🙂 Great photos, great post Derrick!

  3. You can actually see the end result before you begin working – can’t you?!! I see no other way for you to accomplish so much perfectly!

  4. I grow mainly fruit trees and edibles and they have insignificant blooms but having been mesmerised by all your flowers I am putting more colour into my garden:)

  5. Oh my goodness, all lovely photos and I would have to say what stands out were Scooby, the mouse, the pretty pansies and the meal you described which was delicious. I would like to try one of the cream cakes. This was great post and I enjoyed visiting with you, Derrick.

    1. Thank you, Pauline. Scooby is granddaughter Flo’s dog. He was rescued from a police pound where he had been left alone over a weekend. Son Mat climbed over and liberated him.

  6. Whoever Scooby is, he’s very cute. I imagine your garden was a charming bit of adventure and relief from routine. Looks as though he/she set out to “police the area.”

  7. Oh, that Scooby is adorable! I’m starting to sound repetitive, I know, but all I can say is, “Wow, wow, and wow!”

    1. Thanks, Cynthia. No dog loo now. Becky follows him round and scoops up to put down our loo. We think the grass patch was our predecessor’s canine convenience. Soon after we arrived I spotted a hand shovel sticking out of a shrubbery. I was somewhat taken aback to find it full of shit. I’m sure you wanted to know all that. 🙂

      1. Sure I did…I’m a nosey poke. I have always had a dog as part of the household, so I think about these things and how one gets round them. So that’s what the grass patch was for! Thanks Derrick.

  8. Scobby seems right at home. Great blog diary of the work you guys are accomplishing. So funny that the rat is enjoying his little areas too! Do enjoy reading about your delicious meals each post – this one sounded delicious! Pansies around here just got planted too they are our winter flowers.

      1. Interesting on the cyclamens. We have one that seems to be a perennial, comes up each year – right now waiting for it’s buds to appear.

  9. Derrick, you’ve probably answered this question before so I apologize, but how big is your backyard? It seems to go on and on and on. I’m wondering how much the head gardener and yourself have taken on to transform this into a lovely park. It just blows my mind.

  10. A labor of love in every word, it’s clear to see that you have much pride in your accomplishments,and so you should. It is a great pleasure to sit back at the end of the day and appreciate your efforts, wishing many pleasurable hours in your corner of Eden.

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