Setting up outdoor spaces

I don’t know if you have noticed, but this blog is veering away from photography a bit. While I will always love photography it has taken a back seat a little.

I think if I’m being honest I want this blog to become more a lifestyle blog, with a heavy emphasis on photography as well. So with that I want to be able to talk about other things, especially what I am doing around the house. I mean you have already seen quite a bit of that already.

Do I know what I’m doing, nope, no way. However, I am having fun.

So today I wanted to talk to you about an outdoor area we have that has looked pretty ugly for a few years.

Outdoor Space

When we moved here we had this space out the front door. The people before us had pot plants out there and I thought I would just do the same. Which I did.

We had tried to make a barbecue area in the backyard but it didn’t really work. It was under a massive tree and everything kept getting covered in bird crap. We knew the best spot would be the area outside the front door. The access would be better from the kitchen but the biggest problem, no privacy.

The carport we had was built onto the massive area of concrete and it extended all the way back to the front door. It was great when the girls were growing up because you could move the car up the driveway, which is very steep, and they would have a large area for their bikes. It did also mean that anyone walking past our house could see right into the yard. So it seemed a bit odd to put a table and barbecue there. Who wants everyone walking past us to be watching?

Building a Fence

We ended up getting a fence built at the back of the carport which helped with that privacy and made it the perfect space. We then purchased a nice outdoor setting and a huge barbecue. We used the space a lot. We had an umbrella in the table as well so it was nice out there.

Well, it was nice until the umbrella was left up and the wind caught it. Broken umbrella then. It was kind of sad because then we stopped using the space. Plus when my husband became a vegetarian we didn’t really know what to barbecue anymore.

So up until recently, this is what the space looked like.

You can see the old BBQ up behind the table. It had been there so long that the cover had molded to it. We had to cut it off. It was also very rusty and horrible inside.

We have these hard rubbish pick-ups here where you can put rubbish like that up on the nature strip and the council will pick it up. We get two a year, so we used one to get rid of it.

That’s not to say we can’t have barbecues anymore. My mum gave us a Weber Baby Q for Christmas so we bring that out when we want to cook outside now. It is so good.

The plants were sort of all over the place too.

So one afternoon I got out there and cleaned it all up. The big barbie was gone, and I cleaned the table and put it where it could be used.

I sorted the plants too. I weeded them and made them look nicer, I hope.

It seemed to be all coming together which is so good. It would be so nice to be able to use the space again. To relax out there with friends and have barbecues again.

The biggest problem is the sun.

To get an umbrella or not

That really is the question.

My husband, Dave, didn’t want us to. He has this dream of building a pergola out there with grapevines growing over the top. It is a nice idea, but when would that happen? That is what I was asking him.

He doesn’t like spending money on the house. I mean he will spend it on solar panels and that sort of thing, but not on something that makes the house look nice. It has been a struggle really. I want a nice home to be proud of, but he doesn’t care about that sort of thing.

Anyway, I convinced him we needed to get an umbrella and I ordered one. It arrived and I couldn’t wait to put it up.

Well, who knew that they don’t all come in standard sizes. Me, that’s who.

Turns out that while my brollie looks fantastic the pole was too thick for the table and the umbrella stand we had. So I had to order a new stand. It now sits beside the table, which isn’t really a bad thing, I hope.

Take a look.

It looks so nice. I’ve used it once but I’m looking forward to using it more in the future.

Next steps

I’m thinking of some solar lights around the top of the fences for nighttime. We have some outdoor lights there and they are really nice, but it isn’t enough light, so it would be good to get some more.

We need something to put the barbecue on when we are using it. At the moment we just stick it on the table, but it would be better to have something else. We were thinking of getting some concrete blocks to make a bench sort of thing, but, but, I have some shelving that I bought for the greenhouse which I don’t think I will use, so I might put it up on the wall behind the table. The BBQ can sit on it when we are using it, and at other times it can be used for plants. We will have to try it and see if it works. I will let you know if you like.

Lastly, I would like to break up all concrete, or rather the look of it. My friend, Sandra, was telling me about some outdoor rugs that are made from recycled plastic and I have to say that really appeals to me. I want to get one, but the big question around that is do I tell Dave first, or after I buy it. I hate being like that, but I want one so I might just tell him after. We will see.

Here is a panorama of the space at this time.

That looks so weird, but it is three sides. 😂

I really am liking the space and can’t wait to get more flowers out there and just keep improving it.

Do you have any suggestions? Do you have a nice outdoor space? What have you done with it?

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  1. I welcome the change in perspective of the blog. I’ve been doing what you called “lifestyle blogging” since 2003. My plans for an outdoor space have been put on hold since the pandemic’s start. It has been nearly impossible to get a contractor. I finally got one last summer, but the project is delayed due to obtaining permits from the township. I have crossed my fingers that we’ll have a space ( a patio) to use this summer.

    1. Thank you Khürt, that is good to hear. I am lucky that out outdoor space was just there and we haven’t had to do a lot to it except make it look nice. I wish you all the best for yours. Good luck.
      We had similar problems because of the pandemic when we were getting out solar battery.

  2. Great project. It is a pity Dave couldn’t get into BBQ vegetables. They are so good. Maybe he needs a bit of a push with the new Weber even vegetarian products are good to BBQ. 🙂

    1. Thank you. Dave does like bbq veggies. It was more a problem when he first became a vegetarian, and I wasn’t at first. Then the umbrella broke, so it put a stop to it all. Now we both are vegetarian, and over time I’ve found a lot of things to eat and bbq. There are many good products to buy to bbq now. We love the V2 burgers and then I made rolls to go with them. Do you think I should do a blog post on them?

  3. A big improvement. Like that the red plant links with the colour of the door.
    We have an area on the patio, which is great for evening meals … not much meat on our menu either.
    The area at the bottom of the garden is for relaxing and entertaining under the apple tree and white barked birch.
    Its not a big garden and has been made for low maintenance.
    I too am not so involved in Photography – have stepped away from Camera Club

    1. Thank you Diana, I really like it too.
      I think it is great having outdoor spaces, it makes it nice and you can change with the weather if you need to.
      I hope that means you like seeing more posts like this Diana. I think the pandemic has changed a lot of peoples focus.

  4. I like the way this looks, Leanne and it’s nice to see your blog have different content too. What is the council that takes large trash twice per year? We don’t have that here, it’s just a phone call I think to the trash company for a special pick up.

    1. Thank you John. I’m glad to hear you like other content as well. I enjoy posting about my life and stuff I’m up to as well. The council is local government. We have 3 levels here, federal, state and local. The local government looks after the rubbish. It is part of our rates, I don’t know what you call them there, but we pay so much each year to the local council if we own a house.

    2. That sounds like here, Leanne. Federal, state then the Clark County government. The UK has a different setup I think, not sure though. I’ve tried to encourage a few blogs to expand their content over my time on WP. I should do the same with my blog.

    3. Yeah, I imagine it is very similar. I have no idea what the UK does, though often thought ours would be similar because it is based on theirs. Then again, they don’t have states. I like the idea of changing up the blog and doing more. I am thinking of doing one soon on my disaster with growing tomatoes. lol

    4. I really want to visit the UK! I don’t have that Green Thumb either but my mother could grow anything!

    5. The UK looks stunning, I would love to go there, but don’t think I ever will. I can grow things and have lots of success with flowers and some other vegetables, but tomatoes seem to elude me. We get some, and we have lots of salads and such, but I wanted a lot this year and it doesn’t look like I will.

  5. There are many vegetarian food you can barbecue Paneer/cottage cheese being one of them. May I suggest you look up Indian recipes?

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