My favorite place to read is in the shade of our crape myrtle. To be honest, it is my favorite place to paint, sand wood, really do anything in the afternoon shade of the canopy. While flipping through a 1961 issue of Better Homes and Gardens I noticed my favorite backyard spot was one of their ’50 Improvements Under $50’.
Years ago my dad put the patio together using locking bricks around the crape myrtle. Because of California’s perpetual drought, having a draining patio in place of lawn helps eliminate run off and of course there’s less lawn to water. In 1961 they recommended cement finishing to accompany the patio bricks, but I've listened to Jeremy talk about the importance of proper drainage to know that gravel helps water drain through the patio, instead of around it.
The wrought iron patio furniture in the magazine is very similar to ours and made me wonder about its history. I found an article in Country Living Magazine that explained how American blacksmiths “popularized wrought iron during the 1920s, and it remained in vogue until the Eisenhower era [1952 – 1961], when lighter, cheaper, rust-proof aluminum caught on.” We brought our patio set from Mexico, so I was surprised to find that wrought iron furniture had deep roots in America.
Do you have summer patio plans of your own? If you do, remember, “material costs, wise buying, and the way you adapt the idea will make the difference.”