I’m dreaming of a cool Tuscan patio….

Doesn’t it look lovely and inviting? Some cool relief from a hot summers day?

Around the back of my main cottage that houses the kitchen, dining room and lounge (or is it the front – not too sure) is a rather bland blank looking space that gets hot sun all day round.  This wall is also the first view of the cottages you get when you arrive at Jackal’s Den and it does not look at all inviting.  I have decided to build a patio along the same lines as a Tuscan patio – covered with something green and leafy.  I need to make it look a little more rugged than the one in the picture and make sure it blends in with the African bush theme. As funds are tight I have decided to do this myself with a little muscle help from an unemployed farm worker Warren.  We got started this week.

All the upright poles are now planted and tomorrow I start attaching the cross bars.  It is really tough working in 40 deg C heat without any shade.

After the main structure is up I will be building some small retaining walls out of stone to level off the floor area and will then pour my own cement slabs using leaves to imprint patterns on the cement. These will be laid out with some pebbles to make the floor.

I think the most difficult part will be waiting for the plants and creepers to grow over the top so that we can have a shaded area. The “growth period” will give me some time to save up for a small table and some chairs to put underneath it.

I can’t wait for it to be finished.

What should I grow over the top?  Initially I loved the idea of a grape-vine as it would then also provide me with some food but grape-vines are not evergreen and I do want it to be green in winter too.  Any suggestions?

(Just for fun here is a picture of me doing a pole dance 🙂  – Trust the Bean to snap a shot like this!)


23 thoughts on “I’m dreaming of a cool Tuscan patio….

  1. I’ve never seen the bougainvilla without greenery or blossoms, even when we get hit with frost and a week or more of frostly temps. So, I would think it would do well in your area, too, since your climate seems very similar to ours. The thorns should help keep the critters from climbing up on the trellis/support structure, too. Good work…it looks great.


    • I’m a little muddled with bouganvillas – I have a few here and some of them get a little scraggly and leafless in winter but the other two don’t. It may just be a case of poor watering so will look into it more.


  2. Great project! I’d be careful of using anything that has thorns, or white sap (can be caustic=toxic) . If it has fruit, you don’t want any squashed bits being walked into the house. Great thought is required for the selection, especially due to the close proximity to the house. Be aware that anything dense will darken the interior of the house, particularly if evergreen during winter when you may want some sunshine inside. Think about where you’ll actually have the planting spot, preferably before you pour the cement. Cement will make surrounding soil more alkaline. And you could plant a quick annual vine, at same time as more permanent one, so you get quicker coverage in the short term. Many options 🙂


  3. What a cool DIY project! Love it. Can you grow Allamanda in SA? It grows madly, at least in Karachi (and it can hit 40 here too), the leaves are lovely and the flowers are such a pretty yellow. I hear there are other colours too.


  4. Your patio does look lovely. I would like to sit there. I would not be the person building it. However, I do admire those who do! It seems you and I are at opposite ends of the planet…


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