our patio garden


As long as I’ve known Mr. Lively, I have known that he dreams of having a garden.

His mom is a prolific gardener, and while living as a bachelor before moving to Chicago, Mr. Lively had his own vegetable garden as well.

And though we one day hope to have a home with yard or roof deck for our own vegetable garden, for now we are making the most of our current patio.

As you might recall from our home tour, the patio looked like this during the fall.


WinterPatiophoto by

Very cute, but lacking plants.

But after a little work this weekend, it now looks like this.




Same chair, rug, and vintage cooler, but now with a flower box full of color and a pup looking for his next treat.

On the left side of the flower box, we also have a new little friend.




Gus, the Garden Gnome, hails from the land of Target and now sports a gold-painted hat (of course).

In addition to the flower box in the center, we have a box filled with basil and cilantro, our favorite herbs, on the left side of the patio.




We also added a big pot filled with all the shade loving flowers we could find, as another “garden” element.




Because Franklin is fond of eating everything, we currently have it resting on a chair, out of the pup’s reach, until we can find the perfect perch.

While buying flowers for the pot, we overestimated how many plants we would need.

So the remaining plants made their way into a few empty vessels on the patio dining table.




Here’s a wide shot to give you the full effect.




Overall, we are really happy with how it all came together.

Though the space is rather small (5’x12′), it has everything we need for dinners and drinks outside during the warmer months to come.


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    1. Aw, thank you so much! And yes, Franklin is a dear (when he isn’t eating the flowers in the flower box). ; )

  1. Cara Gilger

    Perfect! Just to be curious and not snarky–why didn’t you do a second or larger planter box allong the far railing? I love how thoughtful you are about each of your choices, so I thought I would ask!
    Thanks, Jess!

    1. Great question – and yes, that was intentional. : )

      You see, Franklin doesn’t have any windows to look out of in our apartment- they are all too high and the main light in the living room is the patio. So the only way the little guy can look out and see any sort of view is by sanding on the patio chairs and peeking over the railing. Though we planned to do a DIY looooong window box along the back railing, that would have left him with absolutely no view in the entire apartment. So we decided to do a much smaller one in the center, and still allow him to peek out on each side from those two patio chairs.

      Though not the ‘best’ solution, it was the one that left the little guy with some entertainment while I’m busy working at the computer all day.

  2. Brittany

    Looks great!!! Love the little gnome 🙂
    Brittany (www.classicallyb.com)

  3. I love it! I have the same problem with my minature poodle…anything on the ground is an inviation for her to eat it.

    1. Lol, I’m glad I’m not alone! In fact, Franklin got his mouth on the blue flowers in the big pot this morning and now they are looking a little worse for wear…

  4. Cassie

    Ahh this is adorable! You make great use of the space you have (which I am envious of, by the way). I’ll be moving in a couple months– to where, I don’t know!– and I can’t wait to incorporate more greenery in my life. I don’t exactly have a green thumb, but all I know is plants make me happy. Great job!

    1. Aw, best of luck with your new move! Hopefully the new place will have outdoor space – or you could always go with that super popular fiddle leaf fig tree in your apartment – my friend has one and it’s awesome!

  5. Jen Moulton

    Jess your patio is adorable. You guys really made the most of the space, it seems functional but still cute! And Franklin looks like a sweet little dog!

  6. madeleine collins

    I love this space! I wish I could keep plants around more. I have found my dog more than a few times nibbling on herbs. the different vessels are so pretty!

    1. Thanks so much, hun!

      Oh man, dogs like herbs? Not surprising, I wonder if they like a certain herb best…

  7. Lauren Lin

    I love that patio gardens and indoor greenery are the thing right now. It’s a trend I am definitely getting on board with. I have started collecting succulents. They come in all sizes, can go in any kind of planter (because they don’t need a lot of water) and they’re pretty hard to kill from what I hear. 🙂

  8. Isn’t it amazing how some plants can completely transform a small outdoor space? Love it!

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