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How to Update Your Backyard Patio for Summer

Now that summer and June officially arrived last week, it’s time to get serious about updating our backyard patio. Every year brings a new set of projects and this summer was no exception. I hope that the ideas I share on how to update your backyard patio for summer will help you with any summer refreshing you want to do.

My suggestions to update your backyard patio for summer come from our own needs. I’m guessing that yours are similar in some ways. I love the outdoors, whether it’s a patio, a porch or a garden so I’m excited to share our updated backyard patio.

How to Update Your Backyard Patio for Summer

The update for our backyard patio update included 3 parts:

  • plant new flowers for summer
  • create a new seating area
  • get a new dining table

New Plants for the Backyard Patio

Our backyard backs up to a dry creek bed (except when there is a heavy downpour) which is about 12 feet below our yard.

We have 2 large flower beds, our swimming pool and a lot of concrete hardscape. We have no grass.

Although all you can see from the back of our house is green trees, plants are a must for giving us color. New plants for the backyard patio area include both in-ground and flowers in pots and our hayracks.

The flower bed behind our breakfast room is mostly in the shade from 2 Japanese Maples and a yew tree. We try to have as many perennials as possible.

  • wood ferns
  • fatsia
  • ajuga,
  • leopard plants
  • mondo grass
  • oxalises
  • hostas

We add caladiums, impatiens, and coleus for annual color. This is the scene right outside our breakfast room door. The caladiums have really taken off this year. See my little bunny?

caladiums and ferns

My other bunny statue (used inside at Easter) and an angel statue are tucked in between the leopard plant and our one big hydrangea.

This year the hydrangea seems to be all pink. In past years it has had both pink and blue blooms at the same time. I bought the wrought iron garden fencing years ago in Salado, Texas.

caladiums and ferns

This wood fern has grown so much already this spring. Sweet Shark threatens to cut it back to the ground.

wood fern and hyddrangea

Backyard Hayracks for Flowers

Hayracks are one of the main ways we add flowers to our backyard patio. We have 8 of them from full sun to part sun to full shade.

Our “herb garden” consists of big pots for perennial herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, mint, parsley, Mexican mint marigold (tarragon), and chives. We add oregano and basil in the summer.

TIP: We have grown herbs for years. We think that they grow best in pots. Use a pot bigger than you think you will need because herbs get big. Most summer herbs need water and rain and you don’t have to do anything to them.

flowers in hayracks with potted herbs

The basil is going crazy too. Lots of pesto for pasta!

peony and basil

My goal this summer was actually to reduce the number of pots we had for a less cluttered look along the back black wrought iron fence. We moved a wrought iron baby carriage and 2 large planters around to the side of the house for this summer.

I wanted some classic looking planters at each vertical post in the fencing so I ordered these 4 white planters from Wayfair (they also come in black and other sizes). Hibiscus and Mandevilla provide the taller “thriller” with other sun~loving plants for the filler and creeping Jenny for the spiller.

flowers in white planter
flowers in white planter

The cushion on our bench, which you might remember from last week’s Pinterest~Inspired 4th of July Vignette, was looking a little tired and worn, so I have temporarily covered it with a piece of the same fabric on our patio chairs. Hopefully, I can replace the cushion soon.

patio bench

The final touch to the fenced side of the backyard patio was these 2 Japanese lanterns I picked up at IKEA a couple of weeks ago. They are solar~powered which is nice.

hayracks with flowers

The Patio Seating Area

I wanted to create more of a living area for our patio.

The first thing that was needed were new cushions for our love seat.

I bought new cushions 3 years ago in a medium denim color, but they had faded really badly.

The first summer I bought them at At Home, our retractable awning broke. We went a whole summer without any cover.

I tried to figure out a way (paint?) to fix the cushions. Finally, I decided to replace the loveseat cushions. Rather than going dark, I went light with cream-colored seat and back cushions from At Home. These are really comfortable and I like the fresh neutral look. I also found some pretty blue and white patterned pillows at At Home.

patio love seat with pillows

To add more seating and make a definitive seating area, we moved 2 chairs that we have been using around our old round outdoor dining table into the sitting area. I set one of our lavender plants in a galvanized pail behind the 2 chairs. A painted blue pot of chives by a side table gives some pop of color.

patio seating area

We now have seating for six in an easy conversational area.

Last summer we bought this metal and wood patio table which we love. A new rug at Wayfair in a dark neutral color grounds the space.

I’ve tried so many rugs in light colors and spent hours trying to clean them that last summer I gave up and went with a dark color. It’s worked so much better. No fading, no green mold. I still want new pillows for the side chairs, but I haven’t found the right ones yet.

The door behind the seating area is to our master bedroom.

patio seating area

The planters on the table are ones that I’ve had from Trader Joe’s. I added blue stripes.

patio seating area
Candles and blue and white pots

Candles and lighting are a must for evening ambiance. The 3 candles in the center of the table are from At Home. They have a remote control on~off switch or you can put them on a timer.

I updated our flea market side tables with new tops (a whole other post) and new DIY planters and bright yellow Gerber daisies. I love bright yellow mixed with blue. I’ll show you how I made these planters in a later post. The little birdcage is a flea market find. The small vintage pots are a recent buy from Atlanta.

yellow Gerber daisies in blue and white planter
yellow Gerber daisies in blue and white planter

I brought the sand dollars home from Sandestin 2 years ago and they have stayed remarkably intact.

yellow Gerber daisies in blue and white planter

New Dining Backyard Patio Table

Here you can see our other flower bed on the backside of the swimming pool. We cleaned it out a few years ago, then planted crepe myrtles, a yaupon, a banana tree and 2 tall shrubs. There is some ground cover and Sweet Shark fills half barrels with pink vinca and white angelonia.

patio table and pool

The big addition is a new dining table. It has its own story that I will share soon. It’s my favorite new addition to our backyard patio update.

The week before Memorial Day I told Sweet Shark that we needed a new eating table. Literally, the Saturday of Memorial weekend, I stopped at an estate sale and there was the perfect table. It took some tender loving care to transform it into our new backyard patio table. Here’s just a little sneak peek. You can see our “old” table in the background.

cleaning teak table

It looks much better, gives us more seating and the shape fits the space better. The umbrella is from Pier 1 a few years ago  Originally it was bright blue and white stripes. Unfortunately, it’s faded too. You can see the mason jar lights that I made last summer. They provide a nice ambiance at night.

Patio dining table

For now, we are using our 2 French garden chairs (a flea market find from a few years ago) and our garden stools that we bought in Hong Kong almost 20 years ago as seating. The plan is to find 6 new chairs for the new table.

Some blue hydrangeas in my kombucha bottles give a soft sweet pop of blue.

blue hydrangeas in glass bottles

We have had so many days of thunderstorms, rain showers and cloudy days the past week that I wasn’t sure we could pull off this backyard patio update. It was cloudy and thundering like crazy, but thankfully I was able to take enough photos to share with you our updates.

If you like these ideas and want to remember them for your own backyard, don’t forget to PIN for Later!


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  1. Your backyard patio is like a scenery from some magical garden. Love every part of it and all the furniture looks so pretty and sophisticated! How long did it take you to find all of these gorgeous pieces, especially those lovely chairs? And your plants are stunning. It takes a lot of love and dedication to plant and take care of them and you’ve done, well done! I’m in awe of every area of your patio, thanks for sharing it!

    1. Katarina, thank you for visiting and your nice comments. We have collected just about everything in the yard over years of shopping flea markets and antique malls. We have things that aren’t even in the picture, that we have set in our side yard for this year. The plants are really filling in now and get prettier as the summer goes on.

  2. Your patio looks amazing, Carol! Love all the plants and flowers you have incorporated into containers! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About! We LOVE having you with us! (Can’t wait to see you in July!)

  3. Beautiful patio! We are slowly organizing ours today and I have been trying to come up with some new furniture arrangements and accents to give the space a little lift. Pinned.

  4. What a pretty garden/patio area you have, Carol! Love the caladiums. They are building an At Home near us, and I can’t wait! Thanks for joining Tuesday Turn About!

  5. I love all of the plants that you have. They will look so great as they get bigger. Your seating area looks like a really nice place to sit and converse with friends and family.

  6. Aren’t you just the sweetest! You are one of my favorite people too! I still remember my very first Haven when I was a lost soul and was SO HAPPY to see you and get a wonderful Carol hug!!! Your yard is lovely! I am so envious of your swimming pool! (we are struggling finding a contractor for an addition and pool). I love the wooded look your backyard has. It is like wandering a woodland path! Caladiums are one of my favorites, and yours are growing wonderfully! Your table was a great find, and how cozy your seating area is!! I look forward to seeing you at Haven dear friend!

  7. Wow, Carol, your patio, pool are and porch are all so inviting! You’re always so creative with the way you rehab pieces of furniture and give them a fresh feel. I love all the touches of blue and white. Your flowers, plants and herbs are all really beautiful too. I know your family loves to hang out here. It looks like the perfect retreat space. Happy summer and hugs, CoCo

  8. Carol your patio and gardens are beautiful and stylish! I also have mostly shade and I love seeing your shade plants. Your patio and pool is just dreamy. That new table is over the top perfection, I have to say I love the current seating you are using. What fabulous finds!

    The planters are going to look fabulous when the creeping Jenny really takes off. I would love to visit your lovely patio!

    Thanks for sharing some great ideas for updating an outdoor space and for joining this hop. I hope you have a great summer!

  9. You have a gorgeous backyard Carol and I love the your outdoor furniture and sitting area. A beautiful and relaxing space to entertain. Can’t wait to see how you style that fantastic table when you get new chairs. What a lucky find!

  10. The new dining table was a fabulous find Carol! It looks great. Love how your thumbs make your back patio seem like a resort. It’s all so beautiful! I don’t see why you won’t enjoy your summer out there!

  11. Carol your backyard is amazing! I bet you spend so much time out there. I love your seating area and all of your beautiful plants!

    1. Kelly, thank you for your great comment. As the summer gets hotter, we spend less time outside. Fortunately , this summer hasn’t been quite as hot so mornings and evenings are bearable.

  12. Carol, I can relate–I do the same kind of rearranging each year in the garden! I love your updatea! It is a pleasure to join you for the hop this week!Blessings,Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  13. What a beautiful, secluded space. I love that you found a table so quickly. What a great find. I hope you find the chairs in short order. The pops of yellow with the gerber daisies is too cute.

  14. Your back yard is an oasis, indeed, Carol! A pool right outside your bedroom; how wonderful! How wonderful that your husband enjoys gardening and making your home beautiful as much as you do. Your team effort definitely shows! Thanks for the tour!

  15. Carol I am loving your outdoor living area. Love the blues with all the beautiful flowers. Love those pillows with the white tassels. So cute!

  16. Such a gorgeous area by the pool. I love all of your planters and pretty flowers. This is where you would find me all summer. So pretty and inviting.