Terrace renovation – a mini garden is created
A mini garden on just 8.5 m² in the middle of Cologne – My sister Julia renovated the terrace and turned a neglected inner courtyard into a beautiful terrace!
Actually, I am convinced that you can still make something beautiful out of EVERYTHING. To be honest, I was skeptical this time when my sister showed me the neglected inner courtyard that belongs to her condominium in Cologne. But in just a few weeks she has cleared away the rubble, swung the steam jet and the brush, dragged and dug material without end, as much as she could. I am so excited about the result that I really want to show you the little big city oasis!
The initial situation: a damp, neglected inner courtyard
Do you know that when a broken garden chair or something was obviously put in the picture on previous photos so that it looks even sadder? In this case, that was not necessary at all, because everything in this inner courtyard was really dirty or broken and a terrace renovation was more than necessary!
My sister actually saw potential here! The canopy wasn’t that old and just incredibly dirty. After cleaning with the steam jet device, it looks great again. The fence part separates the inner courtyard from the bicycle compartment for the tenants and urgently needed to be renewed. Since it is an inner courtyard in the middle of Cologne, where the sun only shines directly in summer, the walls were covered with greenery. Here, too, the steam jet device, paint and green growth remover were used.
After the basic cleaning: the construction of the terrace
What a difference from before, right? My sister did every step of the renovation on her own, including setting up the fence and laying the floor.
Rubber mats were laid for the flooring to compensate for irregularities in the concrete floor. Large terrace slabs were laid on it. To make the area look larger, only individual slabs were laid and filled with river pebbles in between. The inner courtyard also gets the look of a garden more than a terrace.
After the walls had been cleaned of greenery and repainted, my sister looked for a cheap solution to visually break up the long wall and to offer the plants a climbing aid. The bamboo privacy screens for the balcony are actually intended for horizontal attachment, but they also go great with the look of the terrace when they are upright!
Since you can’t sit outside with all your friends in a courtyard in the middle of the city for the sake of the neighbors, Julia has brought the garden aspect to the fore to relax. Flexible furniture such as folding chairs are particularly practical because they can be adjusted and easily stowed away. On the 8.5 m² there would even be enough space for a morning yoga session, but we don’t want to overdo it :).
If you are also planning a terrace renovation, you should first think about what the space will be used for later. Is eating outdoors with your family the most important thing to you, or do you prefer a quiet place just for you to read?
Planting tips: these plants also grow in the shady inner courtyard
Having a north facing garden myself with lots of shaded areas, I know the importance of careful selection of shade plants. I used to get frustrated and thought there was nothing nice in the shade, but now I love my “forest beds”.
hosts (top left, square image) are among my favorite perennials in the garden. There are many different varieties with different leaf colors. The plant is quite undemanding, feels good in the shade and is easy to divide.
My sister has one in the bucket (top right). japanese maple (top plant) and one black terrace elder (bottom pot) planted. Both thrive in the shade and grow quite slowly, making them great for container planting.
I am in love ferns in all variations! All varieties are shade lovers, the classic one male fern as well as more unusual varieties, such as the antler fern (lower images).
Other plants that grow in my garden in the shade bed:
- Astilbe (Magnificent Pier)
- crying heart
- Elf Flower (many different varieties)
- Seal of Solomon
- Mühlenbeckia (ground cover)
- wild garlic
- Coral bells (e.g. the plant with the purple leaves in the photo below)
- Climbing hydrangea (photo below)
A maple tree is still growing in the very large, black planter. However, it had no leaves when I took the photos. I will give you an update in a few weeks on how everything has developed, yes?
Of course, ceramics from me smuggled onto the picture :). I made the flower pot with saucer and the lantern especially for the new mini garden.
I’m curious how you like the little oasis after the terrace renovation and I look forward to your comments! Do you also have a corner at home that urgently needs a makeover?
If you liked the makeover, here you can see the transformation of our shady spot in the garden.
All the best! Catherine