At the start of the summer we dedicated a couple of weekends to installing a patio. With such a small yard we really wanted to get the most out of every inch. So far I'd give the patio an enthusiastic thumbs up.
We're getting a lot of use out of it. We'd get even more if the mosquitoes weren't such spoilers. They never pay me any attention, especially when they have the mosquito delicacy that is the Mister to feast upon. They go after him with such gusto, as if he were an all-you-can-eat buffet. Poor thing. Anyway, the patio's success has only served to reinforce my position that ultimately all the grass must go (still lobbying the Mister on this one). To date we have a small square in the front, which could be a lovely shade garden. There's another strip along the side which, if I get my way, will ultimately be swallowed up by my grand plan to extend the perennial garden. And finally, there is the path that constitutes our "back yard" that runs along our veggie swath coursing between the patio and grill. It's becoming so well worn that it's just begging for some stepping stones to put it out of its misery.