Sunday, February 17, 2013

Garden Path Galore...

Like it or not, old man winter is a lot like Elvis, he has left the building! OK. I know you are thinking, "Just you wait, Henry Higgens, Just you wait. You'll be sorry but your tears will be too late. Your flowers and your roses will freeze their little toeses. Spring is not yet here, just you wait!" Well, maybe not those exact words, but you and I both know that winter likes pretend its gone, just to get all of us gardeners excited then lays one last chilly hand upon our gardens to show who is really boss. Yet, in spite of this I am feigning ambivalence. Come what may, I'm ready for spring and it's going to be an early one! (or else...)
So in light of all this excitement, I decided this would be a great weekend to make our paver pathway in the back yard. This pathway has been a thorn in the flesh for me. I have prayed thrice that it would not be an ugly eyesore, but nothing happened - so I took matters into my own two unskilled hands. This leads from our back yard into the neighborhood behind us so we frequently walk on it. In the summer it's not so bad, but in the winter it enjoys turning muddy and treacherous. You all probably know how to lay paver pathways better than me, so I won't bore you with monotonous details on how I did it. In this informational age, youtube provides lots and lots of how-to videos which are done by people who actually do this and that sort of thing all of the time. One - no two - quick hints though. A 6" x 6" paver is not a real and/or literal 6". Also, make everything about 4" lower than you expect it will be, everything ended up a little taller than I wanted it. These aren't "Oh no, lets start over" kind of things, but they are the small things that make a lot of difference.

Here is the beginning. I wanted to save the gravel to use as a base after I dug out the area.

Here be the supplies. 

So I dug it out, then made the frame (will mismade the frame) and added the gravel. I used the board to make sure the gravel was semi flat. I then added sand and made sure that was really level. 

Not is the easy part of laying in the pavers (304 triangular red ones and 108 of the grey) We teach math in school for a good reason!

The almost finished product. I still needed to fill in the edges. I am going to clean out all of the grass and then put in bark around the edges to hide the frame and give the area that finished look.

So, what is the best way to celebrate a project being finished? Buy flowers of course! I went to a local nursery (Portland Ave), and bought two climbing yellow roses (walkin' on sunshine) and this pink dawn viburnum. It is very fragrant and will take up an area of our fragrance garden. I wanted it last year, but no one had it at the time.

The large thing with no leaves and in a pot is the new plant. The flowering current on the left is going to be moved into a spot where one of its near relations died last year. Then we will make another little paver patio and add another bench for when neighbors come over.
So now, we will take a small peak behind the curtain of future developments. The two climbing roses will be supplemented by two dark purple clematis. These will be supplemented by two arches. As you look into your minds eye, imagine the now path in the back. As you walk through the gate, you see two arbors or arches 2' deep and about 2' apart. Right now they have a clematis on one side and a rose on the other, slowing climbing their way (and hopefully not so slowly) up to meet eachother at the top. Then they shall mingle and bloom in purple and gold. Over the years they will spread out and create a 5'-6' tunnel that you walk through. Sound good? Well, we'll see if the imagination is reality soon. Clematis won't be in at the local nurseries for a month or so, and I still need to find my arbors. But, today when I take our girls to the playground, I'll close my eyes and smell the beauty as we walk.


  1. Your path looks fabulous! I'm very impressed! It looks like it was a lot of work. And congrats on your new plants! So nice to find a plant that you've been wanting to find for a while.

  2. Wow, what a great project! Good job doing all of that. The new plants will be beautiful. We'll all cross our fingers for an early spring for Washington.

  3. Might I suggest when you lay a walk way in the future that if you put a slight curve in the path it will lead your eye up the path to the arbors. I really love the pattern you chose. I really like the thought of the clematis and roses mixing. I found that when my clematis dies back it is ugly. If I planted it again I would have it mix with a climbing rose to hide that and it would extend the flowering period for that spot in my garden.

    Love the project. Great photos, thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the input. I know what you mean and a curve would have helped, but I don't think that my skills are up to the challenge yet. I'll start messing around with that soon though. ;)

  4. That is awesome! Way more than I would have done. The pattern is awesome. It is going to accent the roses and clematis.
    I can't wait until you get the arbors up.

  5. Beautiful. Can't wait to see it.