Landscape & Gardening

Backyard Progress (days 19 thru 24)

If you're wondering why the bottom step is shorter than the others, here's the explanation: The original intent was to have the bricks set on their edges which would have increased the riser height, but after examining the handmade bricks, we discovered that this caused the uneven wavy edges not to butt up nicely with adjacent bricks. The concrete base had already been poured, and we were forced to lay the bricks flat, as I illustrated in a previous post, causing the bottom riser to be shorter than the rest. I can live with this, because I, too, am not precious and perfect. Imperfections are welcome.
If you’re wondering why the bottom step is shorter than the others, here’s the explanation: The original intent was to have the bricks set on their edges which would have increased the riser height, but after examining the handmade bricks, we discovered that this caused the uneven wavy edges not to butt up nicely with adjacent bricks. The concrete base had already been poured, and we were forced to lay the bricks flat, as I illustrated in a previous post, causing the bottom riser to be shorter than the rest. I can live with this, because I, too, am not precious and perfect. Imperfections are welcome.

The fancy stonework has now been completed. Two expanses of random rectangular Pennsylvania stone paving in mixed colors — one at the base of the back steps and another in the front of the house — were carefully laid on a one inch setting bed of decomposed granite and compact soil. No mortar was used. Instead decomposed granite was swept into all the joints and compact surface.

Also completed were two large expanses and a long L-shaped path of compacted decomposed granite, the light red-brown variety found in central Texas. Since the granite was specified to be applied as a three inch layer over compacted soil, steel edging was required to keep the material contained. And when there is edging, there are very long pointy spikes anchoring it in place. And when there are very long pointy spikes hammered into the ground, there is bound to be a vital copper pipe waiting to be busted open. As I am wont to say quite often, one step forward and two steps backwards. This makes my third major outdoor water leak of the year. I had another leak under the house caused by a fifty year old toilet, but that’s another smelly story that can wait to be told at another time.

(above looking towards the alley) To the right of the path and stone pad is where the sun garden will be installed. To the left will be another shade garden.
(above looking towards the alley) To the right of the path and stone pad is where the sun garden will be installed. To the left will be another shade garden.
(above) Yes, I'm showing you the alley. Notice that this granite area has been graded for optimal drainage.
(above) Yes, I’m showing you the alley. Notice that this granite area has been graded for optimal drainage.
(above) This hidden area between between houses is for storing left over materials and the firewood. Eventually, I will add a composting bin here.
(above) This hidden area between between houses is for storing left over materials and the firewood. Eventually, I will add a composting bin here.
(above) At the front door the stone has been extended across the driveway replacing a large expanse of crumbling concrete.
(above) At the front door the stone has been extended across the driveway replacing a large expanse of crumbling concrete.

What’s left to be done. Amending the soil, more re-grading, installing plants, hooking up the drip irrigation system, and creating two irregular stone paths will be the final phase — not this coming week, but the following, September 19 through September 22. Hopefully by then, the temperature will be consistently closer to 90 degrees instead of the triple digit broil we’ve had for the past few months.

One thought on “Backyard Progress (days 19 thru 24)”

  1. Babygirl says:

    It’s coming along so beautifully! LOVE Bubba!!

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