My roommate and I were pumped when we realized our new place offered a concrete patio and small gardening space. It’s definitely one of the luxuries of living in a townhome instead of a more traditional apartment complex.

Throughout the past month or two, I’ve been trying to transform the dull, dingy patio into a fun, usable space. I must admit that I don’t love gardening (sorry mom and dad; I clearly didn’t acquire your love for horticulture,) so this transformation is taking way longer than expected.

Here’s what the patio area looked like in late spring. The daffodils were done blooming, and weeds were growing like… well, weeds.

My first step was to clean up the concrete, pull the weeds, tie the daffodils (so I could cut them down) and add a little color. I purchased a begonia hanging basket and a rockin’ World Market outdoor rug. I discovered World Market when I moved to Columbus two years ago, and my life will never be the same. The prices are awesome, and the offering is so unique. Not many stores can say they sell fabulous accent pillows and hoards of German chocolate. And can you believe my rug was only $20?

Several weeks later, I cut the daffodils, planted a few veggies/herbs and added patio furniture.

It still needs a bit more TLC, but the patio is finally looking party-ready!  I need to get motivated and plant a few more flowers/ferns before I mark this project complete.  The patio faces east and is also shaded by a tree throughout the day, so it’s difficult to choose shade-loving plants that would thrive in the space.

Do you possess a green thumb? What are your favorite shade-loving flowers to plant?