The landscapers like to call it “hardscape”, all those walls, patios, paths and other features that help to define the places in between the gardens and give us places to rest and walk.
In my new garden design, I will spend a good chunk of my budget on hardscape in the form of a new patio. (I know, some people are going to be shocked that I have a budget for my garden design. Actually I have a total amount in mind not to exceed. Is that a budget?)
The current patio is a mess, and not just because I let it go this spring, so to speak.
It is flawed.
Let me point out how flawed it is.
– It is too small. There is barely room for a table and chairs and a few containers.
– Weeds have come up through the brick pavers almost since it was first installed 13 years ago. Normally, I fight these weeds and try to keep them from taking over. This spring, knowing the patio is being replaced, I let it go. (By the way, all that greenery in the bottom of the picture is not weeds in the patio, but the remnants of a flower bed that has been overtaken by sedum.)
– The foundation isn’t solid and some of the bricks are shifting. There are places where the patio dips down.
– The landscaper who originally installed the patio said the only steps into the house that he could do were wood box steps. I fought with him over that, but after awhile, I gave up. With those box steps, when you come out to the patio from the house, you immediately have to step down. (I did not call this landscaper back to re-do the patio, for obvious reasons.)
It is just a flawed patio.
Since the patio is too small, the garden designer came up with a plan for a bigger patio. That means this stand of ferns with some lily of the valley mixed in had to be moved or the patio guy would dig it all under.
I dug out all those ferns this evening, loaded them up into the truck and took them to my sister’s. garrden. No, I am not aware of any garden fairies hitching a ride over there in those ferns, but one never knows. It is possible. Bless those garden fairies especially Tangle Rainbowfly, wherever he is. They have dogs and kids over there, but lots of shade, so the ferns should be happy.
I need to do a little bit more digging up of plants in that area, including digging up a large established Helleborus, before I’m ready for the patio guy to show up and start work.
You can also see the stack of pavers in the picture above. The patio guy has designed the patio so that we can reuse all those pavers. Good idea! And it will save me money, money which I can spend on plants. I have a nephew and a nephew-in-law helping out with mulching, weeding, etc. this summer, so they are going to tear out the old patio, brick by brick, clean off each brick and stack it all neatly nearby. They’ll be starting that project early next week. Fun times!
After digging up the ferns I saw all this good dirt.
I paid good money to have that top soil brought in so my nephews are also going to dig most of that up and toss it a few feet over to where there will be some foundation plantings. One might argue that the value of the dirt is less than what I will pay my nephews to dig it up, but it is good dirt, so let’s not quibble about that.
Also still on the patio are some large containers that contain mostly the miniature hostas that were part of my miniature garden.
The miniature garden was planted up by the house in a planting area that was part of the original patio design. I’ll move these out into the garden under the shade of a tree, along with some other plants in that picture, to ride out the summer until I can plant them someplace else.
Once the new patio has been installed, I’ll also replace the table and chairs with something a bit nicer. By then,maybe I can find a good deal at an “end of the season” clearance sale.
And there you go, the “before” view of the patio, the major hardscape change of my new garden design. Deconstruction starts next week and then the patio guy should start on the new patio “mid to late June”. I’ll post updates as they build the new patio, and show the many features being incorporated into it.
Now. I leave you with an image that isn’t of a flawed patio, an image to cleanse your eyes.
This clematis is blooming near the patio but should be safe enough during all the constructions, so I don’t plan to move it.
Stay tuned for the next garden design update featuring the newly mulched planting beds in the back yard. They are big…