CD Designs Blog
Whatever way you look at it, many of the patios you see out there are boring! It is too easy to just accept the norm, and go with a safe patio installation that just looks like a typical patio, a dull lifeless exterior area of grey slabs or tiling. But it doesn’t have to be like this – pattern imprinted concrete is such a versatile material that you can happily create an exciting dynamic patio area that will inject some real style into your exterior, while retaining a head wearing finish that will last for years.
For a start, you could consider accessorising your patio. You could choose some tasteful, interesting furniture that goes beyond boring garden chairs – all you have to consider is that it needs to be waterproof and hardwearing. How about a warm, inviting bench? You can go beyond this too – how about a built in fire pit as a central focus point, or a built in BBQ? Flowers can also add a touch of beauty and class – pots full of flowers are cool, but take up valuable patio space, so it might be better to utilise overhanging wooden structures such as trestles or a pergola. Couple this with climbing plants and hanging baskets and you will have beauty and shade!
Next, you should consider going with a more interesting texture and colour scheme – why not go with a bright colour scheme that will really brighten up the surrounding area? staining and coloured finishes can provide a huge variety of options. You could also go with a polished finish, to create a really different effect. You could even use a clear finish, and embed coloured panels and other exciting design features inside the finish! Why not go for a patio resembling the BoHouse cafe floor?
8th August 2011
A well designed, beautifully implemented pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio can make a wonderful statement on the exterior of your property and bring the whole design together, providing a perfect focal point for all the surrounding elements. Concrete is not good for all purposes however, and one way in which it falls down is plant life. There are not many varieties of flora that thrive on concrete, especially not edible crops or pretty flowers. You’ll be more likely to get unsightly, stringy weeds and grasses growing in the cracks, which just looks ugly and can eventually cause damage if not kept in check.
To create any useful produce, a more controlled, measured approach is required. This can be remarkably simple: there are many varieties of fruit and vegetables that grow in containers. With just a little bit of guidance, you’ll soon be growing a wonderful modular edible garden on your driveway or patio, without taking up much space!
The containers: As a rule of thumb, you should think about the eventual maximum size of your crops, and choose a pot for each one that is big enough to fit that. Think downwards as well as upwards and outwards – some plants, especially root vegetables will need a much deeper pot, while plants that grow taller such as tomatoes will need a heavy pot to support them. Terracotta pots are heavier and therefore more supportive than plastic pots, and they are also a lot more attractive and will fit in to your design better. They are also more expensive and likely to absorb moisture and dry out your compost and soil more quickly (although this can be got around with a plastic lining).
The crops: There are many varieties to choose from when growing in pots: sweet peppers, chilli peppers, aubergines, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, herbs and more. You should give a little bit of thought to choosing compact or trailing plants, rather than ones that grow up high and could risk getting blown over. For the biggest variety and best results, grow from seed rather than just buying ready grown plants, but follow the instructions on that packet well – different plants will require different varieties of soil and different amounts of compost and water.
Aftercare: Most pot plants are fairly low maintenance. You just need to feed and water them regularly, keep leafy plants productive and compact by pruning and removing flowers often, and support plants with heavy fruit (such as aubergines) with canes.
Images by thomas pix
21st May 2011