Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Backyard Round Up

May 2013

Seriously, another backyard post?
We had one last hurdle to our backyard, it was the small space between the back porch and the house.  There was a lot going on here.  We have our hose bib, our 'o so lovely' AC condenser unit, and for the longest time a huge pile of pea gravel.  Thanks to our firepit and South pathway we no longer had a huge pile of gravel.  Instead, we had a pit of dead grass, invasive vines, and some driveable pavers we had bought as a demo for a Depave project.

Step one: clear everything out of the space.  I pulled up the driveable paves and powerwashed them clean.  Josh dug out the invasive English Ivy and some other horrible vine we had growing and then we turn up the ground, rotilled and leveled the area.   We knew we wanted a small graveled area back there. We needed an space to grill, get to the hose bib and allow us to wash the dog without him standing in mud.

Step two: what do we have?  While the driveable pavers are very neat, they were not really my style. But Josh really liked them and we had eight of them so it was a 'make it work moment.'  As background, these are concrete squares attached together in a 3' by 3' mat with wire holding them together.  They can handle a huge amount of weight and the voids can be filled with anything from gravel to grass to plants.  Pretty cool. They are great for driveways because they allow water to infiltrate the soil.

The first solution was to create a small landing pad directly outside of the porch doors.  This worked for several reasons, it stopped the gravel from kicking into the porch and it also helped transition the space from the yard into the porch.  It happened that we were able to cut the pieces so they fit perfectly between the raised beds and the AC unit pad.   Yay!  We still had three of the mats left.  Originally, we had planned on using river rocks to create the border from our gravel grilling area to the grass, similiar to what we did over at the firepit.  However, after talking, we both agreed it would be better if there was no barrier to step over.  Our solution?  Cut the mats into strips and install them along the edge to keep the gravel in place and create a level surface into the lawn.

Step Three: Beautify. We made a small planting bed under the bedroom window, added some grasses on either side of an existing rose bush. For the rest of the area we  put down landscape fabric and installed the rest of the pea gravel into the area.  We actually came up about a 1/2 yard short of gravel.  But we were able to find a pea gravel (abeit smaller pebbles) in bags at a local store and mixed it together with the old stuff so we could finish out the space.

In the end, I am really happy.  Please excuse the pictures we didn't take any that weekend so these are all current photos, and we are already in the throws of other projects.

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