Go pound sand.

That is pretty much all we’ve been doing. We are building the patio out back, which means moving a LOT of heavy stuff. Up stairs, then up the trail on the side of the house, then dumping and pounding it into a packed patio base. Needless to say, it hasn’t been very photogenic and has taken a long time, with small progress every day. By our calculations, we’re in the process of moving:

  • ~6,000 lbs of rocks and boulders (done!)
  • 8,000 lbs of gravel (about 10 buckets from done!)
  • 3,000 lbs of stone dust (up next)
  • 6,700 lbs of pavers (next week?)

That’s like 12 tons of stuff. What?! No wonder we are so tired and sore. So very glad we have the hot tub to soothe our muscles. And we resurrected the ladder-sled hauler contraption (see: https://youtu.be/bi0deCR-3oI). Otherwise we’d be dead, since it saves us carrying buckets of stone up 23 stairs. But hey, it’s really coming together! We’ll be BBQ-ing by the Fourth of July…maybe? Little help, anyone?

As you can see in the photos of the ramp (where we’re filling now – almost done?!), the patio area was originally way out of level – there was more than 18″ or so of drop from the high to the low end. We left 6″ fall in place for drainage – a hair more than recommended for this length – and now the access point is about a foot higher than it already was! So we’re creating a sloped ramp – because of the iceberg-like rocks in the walkway area, we couldn’t do stairs here, but are filling in all around the rocks. With any luck, the ramp base will be done this weekend, then on to stone dust and pavers, then a party on the patio!

Les jardins de rocailles

Rock gardens. Our summers always start with moving rocks around. Great to get the back and knees in shape for a long summer of running around in the woods and building things. No toes were crushed over the past couple of weeks, but we did manage to pull together a few gardens from the rubble in between various trips. Behold:

And out back, even more rebuilding of formerly lovely, but abandoned/neglected terraced gardens around the patio.

To the left of this set of terraces, we significantly rebuilt the wall that had basically completely toppled over and was a condominium for chipmunks. We did that one today, and have no pictures yet…but it’s looking really nice, and houses my collection of columbines. Here are a few of them – they are especially stunning now, all in bloom.

I have a work trip this week, but KJ plans to start on the rock steps that lead to the back yard. Luckily we have more rocks than anything else here, so no shortage of materials.