Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Etch-a-Brick Two

Over there on the Facebook, which is currently broken for me again, folks have been expressing some preferences in brick works.

I said I would revisit the linear layout with some adjustments. Meh.

It still doesn't do much for me.

It's dull. I need pizzazz.

I do want to revisit the brick speckles. That will have to wait till after Turkey Day.

This idea entered my head last night. I think it was planted over there on the FB which isn't working for me at the moment.

It's ok, but it is still lacking something.

It needs more bricks to encompass the entire patio and swirl right off of it.

I don't want to buy more bricks if at all possible. I'm not sure I want to repeat the design of Creation either.

Now this has promise.

It's got swirl and linear. I could check out adding another arm to the north entry with the tan bricks.

The above view is important too. I'll keep playing. There is no hurry.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Six loads of gravel and the rest of the red bricks made it down to the basement patio late this afternoon. I played with the bricks for a bit before it got too dark.


This does nothing for me at all. Erase.

A little more interesting..... but, meh.

I have enough circular motifs repeated in the garden.

I also have the tan bricks, a few mismatched red bricks, whole and shattered ceramic tile and saw cut pieces of colored cement stepping stones. I can always find flat rocks. I'm even open to buying some black polished Mexican beach pebbles.

This is going to take a while. Maybe I need a picture or a little herb infusion.

Often times, once I get started on these little projects, inspiration will seemingly strike out of the blue. In reality, thoughts about it are tumbling around in my head all day and eventually a good one might fall out.

Monday, November 23, 2015


From above it reminds me of a stained glass window. I need to keep that in mind when I go to add more plants. The idea is to keep it simple, Joe Pye and some evergreen ground covers like acorus, sedge or even a black liriope. The green in there now is the native Flattened Oat Grass, Danthonia compressa.

It was twenty two degrees this morning. Finally, all the grasses are getting a good deep freeze dry before being hit with a heavy snow. Dry grass stands up to snow much better than still green grass.

I wandered down there after work to inspect my progress.

And the stack of red bricks started flying. I have plenty bricks. If I can make some pretty use of them I will. This stuff doesn't follow me home for nothing.

I can do a pattern, be abstract, draw lines or even a picture. There are all kinds of possibilities for my bricks. Follow the red brick road. There is plenty of time to play with my bricks. Whenever I might settle on some design I like, the bricks can be sunk into the gravel.

I still have more gravel to move first and grade to check. I ordered extra to extend and freshen my gravel parking area. That whole pile isn't going down to the patio. Playing in the garden can be strenuous at times though.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

There Were Some Adjustments

The day started with the lingering wisps of the first not quite snow of the season. Whatever it was, it was cold, white and frozen. Nobody wanted to go outside. It was too cold.

Hours passed and there was no warming. The temperature was stuck. Would I want to move any gravel today?

Finally around two in the afternoon, the sun peaked out and a few meager degrees were added to the daily total. There was little wind. Good enough. I had some adjustments to make.

Yesterday's attempt at the planting pocket on the basement patio did not feel right at all. I know one thing. If it does not feel right, than it is wrong.

Gravel began to move. I thought about adjustments. Five out of six rocks fell over and started to wiggle around. When satisfaction was achieved, the tan bricks were added. Joe Pye is safe in the newly adjusted planting pocket. Much better.

Several more wheelbarrow loads of gravel made it down to the patio before the realization sunk in that it was still too damn cold. It was crazy for me to be out there doing this when the high was hovering around thirty one. I will say long underwear is a miracle garment.

On a very cold day, it certainly qualified as winter like, the patio planting pocket was adjusted. Now I will live with it for a while before determining if any more adjustments are needed.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Everything Is Subject To Adjustment

It has begun. The basement patio was cleaned. Weeds were sprayed. Nine tons of gravel has started to move.

Part of the patio making process is the placement of other features. The patio will need a drain. Long time ago I buried a four inch drain pipe. I bought the catchment box way back then too.

A new step was needed at the north end. I know where to find nice rocks.

A planting pocket takes a shape. Hmmm?

The upper dry stack stone retaining wall was finished two winters ago. It only took me a few years to build it. Fetching rocks takes time.

I keep seeing a bubbling, spring like fountain in this old metal bowl. The metal pipe will be painted and planted.

Red bricks?

Or tan bricks? Or no bricks? The planting pocket will need something to give it an edge until a stone floor goes in. The planter will be filled with dung. The bricks will be set so only the top of them shows. Do I even like this shape?

Do I even like this group of stones anymore? I'm starting to hate the whole thing. I do know there is a Joe Pye Weed in there I like and want to keep right where it is.

I have bricks to use. Maybe random bricks can be sunk in the gravel to give the patio floor some pizzazz in the meantime. Blue glass in the gravel might be nice.

This is what happens when Bad Designer makes things up as he goes with the scavenged materials on hand. Everything is subject to adjustment. Adjustments for grade will definitely need to be made. Once most of the gravel is in place, I will run some level string lines. Absent a stone floor, it isn't exactly critical at this point. I just need to get close for the future.

It has begun. That is the most important part. There is nothing inherently wrong with doing the creative part in process when the function is known. By spring, if not sooner, I will have a working basement patio with a gravel floor.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Garden In Winter Mode

Bits and pieces are all that is left of the Tall Flower Meadow. I chopped most of it down and left it where it fell. I could have left it standing all winter, but another garden lives here half of the year.

Steadily, I have been planting the Under Garden of winter interest to get me through the cold times.

Beyond evergreen plants, there is massive stone structure in the garden that is half hidden during the time of vegetation.

There are tiny spirit baubles about filled with the mana of Wamboldtopia.

There is the beginning of big mana in the form of more stone structure. I need rocks, lots of rocks.

Drying grasses slowly reveal some clear round glass.

Progress has been made. I will still have a garden in the winter's barren time.

There are regular distractions in this garden in the wilderness. This is the trash I found halfway down my driveway this morning. Now how did that get here?

One ginormous rock lives in the forest. The stream runs beneath it.

An old garden folly lives by the edge of the scenic byway. Those trees in the house have got to go.

But there are plenty chores to do in the winter garden. I'm seeing a 30% chance of snow in the diagnosis for tomorrow night, followed by a day of blustery cold with a high below forty degrees. That is potentially below my minimum operating temperature.

Tomorrow while I can, the basement patio will be cleaned and made ready to tote gravel. I might even start toting some gravel. The basement patio is going to be my big winter project this year.