I’m making some great progress on the patio! Getting up and at it before the heat really cranks up is the key, I’m finding out. Even at 7:00 in the morning it’s 80 degrees and at least 80% humidity. I’m soaked with sweat just walking around planning what I’m going to try to get done this morning!
The work would go a lot faster with some heavy equipment like a bobcat, but alas, I don’t have one and since I only have a few hours a week at a time to work on it, it wouldn’t really make sense to rent one. But after working to level out about 400 square feet (including the pathway) using hand tools, I have a new appreciation of what real equipment could do for me!
But even so, I’m making considerable progress. After repairing the mudslide last week, I’m back on the patio and spent my time digging and leveling the main area. Because of the slope of the yard, I’ve had to go down 6-8 inches on the upper side of the patio, past the topsoil into much harder clay. Again, I’m no landscape architect, but I left a slight slope to the patio to promote drainage. Also, I was able to get the steel edging installed around the perimeter of the patio.
I’ve re-purposed the topsoil to use for a flower bed between the path and the fence. The plan at this point is to mix some flowers, herbs and maybe larger decorative plants next to the pathway, but because this area gets a mix of sun and shade, I’ll need to get some ideas from the folks at the garden center on what I should use that will be both functional and pretty. I’d really like to use this for some fresh herbs, but I’m not really sure how they would do there.
After getting the dirt moved and the patio area levelled pretty well, it’s time to put down the landscaping fabric and get ready to start spreading the pea gravel. Or at least, that was the plan until I realized that I’d made a measuring mistake and didn’t have enough fabric! Which was actually ok, since by this time I was pretty spent and it’s getting really hot.
I’m also pretty sure that I don’t really like the flagstone sitting in the gravel. I’m developing another potential plan for the flagstone involving stairs built into the slope between some of the rocks surrounding the patio, but that’s an idea for another project…