This was our DIY project in 2009. My brother was visiting and my husband had a couple of days off. I found over $100 of edging and stakes on the side of the road with a FREE sign. I took that as a sign that we 'needed' a patio. So, I ordered the supplies to put in our own patio. My brother was a good sport. My husband was not excited to get signed up for another one of my ideas (as usual). But they both cooperated and it turned out even better than I had hoped. And it has wintered 2 winters perfectly.
Here's the before (blah):
Here's the immediately after:
Each year I keep adding to the gardens (most importantly is my herb garden...LOVE that!). Here is what it looks like now (last picture): http://bornambitous-bornimaginative.blogspot.com/2011/08/our-new-garage.html . I think it will be 2-3 more years before the gardens are the way I want them to be, but it's getting there.
Although it was quite a bit of work, the patio is perfect for entertaining.