idea for small backyard 10x10 cement patio

dinosaur1March 6, 2010

I have a very small backyard with a 10x10 cement patio. I am trying to get some ideas to make it look better w/out installing a deck, Pergola, etc....our budget for a new patio isn't much.

here is a link to how my backyard patio looks.

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What kind of problem do you have to solve? Do you lack privacy? Do you need shade? Is this deck on the north/south/east/west side of your house? Can you see the kids on their gym equipment? Do you have outdoor grilling equipment? Do you eat at the table?

If you want a low budget fix, do one which can be moved when you decide to put more money into it. I got some huge plastic tubs like nurseries put trees in. Or a few whiskey barrels with a liner to allow planting. To keep them from becoming too too heavy, break up some styrofoam packaging materials (or those peanuts) to take up space before you go broke buying potting soil. Then get some cut bamboo fronds (or straight tree limbs or skinny wood or maybe short rebar) and build a teepee shape in the pots. I planted quick growth climbing annuals, or perennials in the ones I did. Morning glories are great, moonflower vines too. But after seeing what they do with vines in Italy, I like the star jasmine which blooms once a year. But your climate may dictate something different. Kiwi vines are not as quick growing, but with male/female plants you would eventually have fruits, and they survive very cold climates. If you put two or three of these tubs just outside the paved patio area, you'd not intrude on the usable space. Even planting petunias, nasturtiums, or other flowering plants which spill over the edge of the tubs, man alive, it could look great.

I do think that you could build just the posts for one side of a pergola this year, perhaps 3 posts, with cross bars between connecting them at the top and at counter height, with maybe lattice below the counter height. Hanging baskets from the top bars and putting a narrow counter or wide top rail where you might place food to serve. It would be a way to get privacy along that one side, or maybe provide some shade. Then as funds allow, you might choose to complete the pergola, or increase the size of the patio before you go that far. Whatever you do at each step could give you much enjoyment because it will all look better with each step.

If you put in the posts, I'd go for 6x6 posts now, just in case you do want to go the pergola route later.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:25PM
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I am staining my patio come spring with Quikrete concrete stain in semi-transparant with a medium gray and then a deep blue to try and create a marbling effect. A gallon coveres somewhere around 250-300 sq feet, and it costs $25 per gallon at my Lowes. I am renting a power washer to get it good and clean before staining. I think it would only cost about $150 tops for 2 gallons of gray/deep blue stain, 1 gallon of top coat semigloss sealant, and the rental of the powerwasher. I have a 12x14 foot deck, yours looks like it's also around that size.

I also have several thornless (or nearly so), fragrant roses in pots on our patio, which always gets compliments from company. The roses I have are Souvenir De La Malmaison (my favorite), Thomas Affleck, & Bayse's Blueberry. I ordered them online, I can look up the retailers if you would like, they cost less with shipping then those gallon roses at the hardware stores. They all need at least 6 hours of sun though, so if you have a shady area, try hostas or shade friendly annuals. A little container garden really spruces up any patio space :) Don't forget to update us on your progress!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 12:49PM
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hey, i've a small backyard too and would like some ideas on what to do. I like to have greenery so small trees need to be part of that but low maintenance my wife dislike greenery and wants me to completely concrete and even surface for us to wall on. How can we make it look atracttive

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 8:35AM
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