I took inspiration from a few different sources. My parents had a beautiful pergola built for their last house. They planted grapes along the bottom and it was wonderful to see the vines weave their way in and out of the lattice, eventually reaching the top of the pergola - the best place to soak up the sun.
Josh and Eddie the poodle, enjoying a summer evening at Mom and Dad's.
Although they were beautiful to look at, the grapes were pretty sour. That didn't stop me from sampling them every few weeks - just to see if they'd ever sweeten up. They didn't.
Josh ended up building several privacy screens for Mom and Dad - including the ones in the photo below.
We decided to increase the height of our own fence with lattice, and add a pergola similar to the one my parents had.
Another source of inspiration was my mother-in-law's amazingly successful cup-and-saucer vines at the lake. The blooms on this vine are gorgeous - like nothing I'd ever seen before. I loved how quickly they grew as I'm a bit impatient. I'd like to have our vines climb and spread over the top of the pergola before summer is over. With any luck, we'll get results like this...
Cup and Saucer bloom
So without further ado, here is our back patio as of mid-June.
We have clematis growing out of the planters with the purple petunias. The cup and saucers run up the four outside corner posts of the pergola - just a foot more until they reach the top! The side bed running along the garage at left doesn't get a lot of sun, so we've planted hostas and bleeding hearts there.
I picked up the turquoise lanterns at HomeSense. I was so happy to find a matching pair - not always an easy feat at HomeSense.
The spirea and euonymus (to the left of the deck) have really filled the space - helping to camouflage the huge air conditioner.
Once again, I've put the flowers from my chives to good use by putting them in vases. They still look great a week after being cut. I picked up the sunny zig zag runner at The Cross in Vancouver - one of my favourite decor shops in that city. The runner is made by Pehr - a Canadian company that makes beautiful home textiles.
You don't see it here, but we picked up a new outdoor sectional this weekend which now runs along one side of the table. We just need to pick up a few toss cushions for it and the space will feel finished.
It's cliche, but the patio is my new favourite 'room.' I curled up with a magazine out there after work today, and wrote most of this post outside until the sun went down and the mosquitoes tried to make me their dinner.