I want to revamp my patio. It's not very big at all. It's in front of the condo. The first issue is that the patio is made of 3 different materials, most of it is concrete slab, but then there's also whitish porcelain tile, and rock slab (yuck).
I'm freaking out. Thank you.
Hardiness Zone: 10a
By Jennie from Tempe, AZ
First, dig out the existing and decide if you want to enlarge or not. I'm a big fan of curves instead of straight square or rectangular patios. Look through landscaping books from the library. If you want to expand, dig out extra area to 6 inches deep (hiring a landscaper will be around $250 and is well worth it). You can buy brick-like pavers made of concrete for $1 per square foot at the big box stores or go with real brick for $5 to $7 per square foot. The 12-inch squares are easy enough to install on a sand base. Here's more:
Gardening element. For privacy, if the site gets some sun, try arborvitae for $35 to $50 per tree, depending on size.
One thing you could do is cover up the porcelain tile with mulch or a small outdoor rug (I just got one at Ross for $8). Find a bunch of containers for plants (they don't have to match. They'll look a little funny at first but once they have plants in them it won't really matter). If your soil is decent, you can build a raised flower garden out of almost any kind of bricks or rocks. Make sure you dig up the ground underneath and try to make it level. (Your soil only has to be decent if you're going to plant things that root into the soil pretty deep. Otherwise, you can just have it about 6" above the ground and dump some soil in and things will grow.) You could put up a trellis and plant some type of vine, I'm not sure what plants are good for zone 10a but wisteria goes crazy in zone 7. It grows fast and has romantic purple flowers. You can even get it to grow up the side of your house, I've seen that be really pretty. If you get a pot big enough, you can plant small trees or shrubs in them so you can move them around. You could also put up some guazy fabric / mosquitoe netting, think cabana.
Before you start any outside project at your condo make sure the "rules" allow this. I know of many condo associations who won't allow wind chimes, outside plantings, beach towels drying on lawn furniture. Good luck.
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