At the end of part 2 we’d just finished building the raised flower beds and had our stunning artificial grass installed, so here is what we did next!
We filled the beds up nearly to the top with soil – we used large bags from the local hardware store for ease but a bulk bag would’ve done the same job!
We then planted lots of multi-coloured flowers. I’m rubbish with flowers if you didn’t already know so I’ll be intrigued to see how these go! More than likely I’ll be planting more this summer haha..
With the lower layer almost complete (there will be a water feature in the corner to create next year and a few walls left to finish!) we started on the raised patio area. This was the before and we had just started knocking that brick wall out with a chisel and hammer!
Hundreds of bricks later we ended up with a pile to get rid of!
Tip: we put these as free to collect on Facebook sales and they were gone within days – the cost of having these disposed of was extortionate otherwise!
The wall gone and the garden looked instantly bigger and more open!
The patio floor hadn’t been on our original plan but seeing it all flowing together it just wasn’t working for me anymore – the colour was all wrong.. so then started an unexpected bigger job haha (sorry Mr R!)
We set to work pulling up the slabs and hacking away at the lumps left behind!
Again we stuck these on Facebook sales and a lovely couple collected them for their own home!
Once the floor was cleared completely, we were lucky to have a flat surface left behind to work with that didn’t require screeding. Instead we used a layer of PVA and sand to make the surface easier to bond to.
Then it was time to tile! The slabs were “buttered” with flexible outdoor tile adhesive.
Then laid on to a bed of more adhesive!
These tiles are from Tile Mountain’s new outdoor range and are a beautiful shade of grey that compliments our new fence panels perfectly!
Mr R also says they’re so easy to work with and lay easily which also helps!
Make sure you check out their new range if you’re after tiles – they had so many colours, I ordered samples of all greys before choosing!
Grey Tiles – Link
Halfway through the tiling the evenings started to turn dark quicker so we knew it was time to get some of our outdoor lighting installed to carry on!
Firstly we put in solar flood lights (which aren’t on in this photo) which give off a really impressive light for solar power!
Solar lights – Link
Then we had an electrician in to install our stunning up and down lighters from Hurn & Hurn!
I absolutely love the light these give off! An electrician also commented on how well built these ones were compared to the cheaper ones he normally works with!
Up and Down Lighters – Link
Lighting in place this meant we could work a little further into the evening again!
So with tiling moving on slowly, we had stumps left over from the brick walls on each side (that had to stay behind to support the walls next to them).
Mr R built a frame around them with wood and then poured cement inside to create a cleaner edge!
Frame pulled away and we had neat little stumps to be painted and we could then tile up to them!
We then set about installing our glass balustrade system that would replace the mini walls – it made so much sense to keep this space light and open, the walls were having the opposite effect!
The glass balustrade system is from Trade Balustrade, who were really helpful with instructions on how to install their system (much easier than you’d expect!).
Trade Balustrade – Link
Firstly we marked the screw holes and used a diamond drill bit to remove the patio tile where the screw should go (it cuts out circular pieces), then drilled into the floor below with a normal masonry drill bit.
Once the holes were made, we used anchor bolts to secure the posts in place. The bolts expand as you screw them in to create a sturdier fitting.
Bolts – Link
We then used string and a spirit level to line the next posts up.
We tried to keep the measurements as equal as possible between posts and then measured the distance between each for Trade Balustrade to have the glass cut to the exact sizes.
The glass arrived not long after and we used blocks of wood (measured to 8cm) under the panels to help fit them.
We’re super impatient so actually installed them wrapped up in coats in the dark on a week night in late November haha!
The glass neatly slots in to the clamps on the posts and you just tighten the clamp cover over the top!
And this was the finished look with the glass in place – what a difference it’s made!
Glass Balustrade System –Link
Trade Balustrade can also be found on eBay! Link
With the patio taking shape and again me being incredibly impatient I purchased a few outdoor pieces I’d had my eye on since we started the project!
The first being this fire pit table!
Fire Pit Table – Link
I had initially wanted a Napoleon fire pit but it was more than double the cost of the one above so I decided to paint this one to get the look I wanted for much less.
First step was to coat it in a layer of primer which would make the paint bond to the surface properly!
Primer – Link
This primer was brilliant and a little went a very long way!
Then it was sprayed with special Stove & BBQ paint as it would get hot with the fire on!
BBQ Paint – Link
We also changed the lava rocks to white ones to match the garden!
White Lava Rocks – Link
UPDATE: I added a glass shield around the fire pit to contain the flame and also because it makes it look more elegant.
Glass shield – Link
The base has now also been painted white to match the new patio furniture. I used the same primer as above and had the paint coloured matched at B&Q to the new furniture in their outdoor paint variety.
The next pieces I bought were these pyramid patio heaters – I’ve been obsessed with these for months and finally found an unmissable bargain for 2 on Black Friday!
Patio Heaters – Link
This is what they look like in the dark too – I can’t wait to have friends over out here!
UPDATE: As you’ll know by now I’m rubbish with plants so I’ve added a few artificial ones in between the real ones for some year-round colour and life!
They’re from Closer2Nature (linked below) and are a combination of begonias, pansy’s, geraniums, chrysanthemums and azaleas – the majority are 2 bunches together to make them fuller.
Artificial Flowers – Link
There are also some small grass balls in between – Link
I’ve also added artificial bay trees along the back wall for some height and symmetry!
Bay trees – Link
As well as artificial topiary balls under the trees where plants don’t grow very well.
Topiary Balls (medium) – Link
And that’s pretty much how far we’ve got so far! We’ve got a little more tiling to finish around the edges and the grouting to do then the furniture can come back in and we can finally relax!
UPDATE: Our new garden furniture has arrived! We’ve gone for white rattan effect with dark grey cushions 🙂
Dining Set – Link or here Link
The matching sofa set! Fire pit table as above.
Sofa set – Link
Geometric cushions – Link
Grey throw (Asda)
UPDATE: We’ve got some great new gadgets for the garden that seem to have sparked some interest so here they are!
Pizza oven – Link
And a beast of a BBQ! It’s got tru-infrared technology which cooks the food better and is much less messy to clean!
BBQ – Link
Both will be built in to an outdoor kitchen area soon – watch this space.
The next garden post will be a garden tour of the completed garden – how exciting!
Read Part 1 here – Link
Read Part 2 here – Link
And let’s do a little before and after again so we can all see how far it’s come (hard work really does pay off!)..
Lots of love