Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Enough Talk

The unfinished basement patio has been waiting for four years. Meanwhile, I am only getting older and more decrepit. I kept saying it is going to be my winter project this year. Enough talk.

The basement patio is going to be my winter project this year. I had nine tons of 3/4 inch gravel delivered today. A six inch layer of this gravel will be the base for a future stone floor. Step one.

Prep work for step one is to spray dead 99% of the lovely native grasses and wild flowers that moved into the patio while I was procrastinating. I'm leaving one Joe Pye that will be in a planting pocket in the patio. All the blown in leaves need to be blown out, then the toting of gravel can begin.

I will have several months of winter to find bearable days to relocate nine tons of gravel. I am quite fine with this being a process broken into smaller increments over weeks if that should be how it turns out. It's been four years now. A few more months for step one is no problem.

My hope is step one will lead to a quick execution of steps two and three. Two is landscape fabric over the gravel with a two inch layer of sand on top of that. Step three is stone. The problem is there is no money for step three.

Another problem is I have been repeatedly exposed to the inlaid stone work of Jeffrey Bale in the last year. Similar thoughts, though not near as detailed, have been in my mind for the patio floor from day one. That could slow things down even further, especially if mortar becomes involved.

I could make do with a properly graveled patio for a while I bet. I could even put a table and chairs down there with that alone. The sand and stone layers have to wait until there is money or a good amount of time spent rummaging stone. I am learning how to get rocks and bricks to follow me home.

Brush burning and silver lamium killing are two of my other winter projects. The chop and drop of three acres of wild flower stems is an annual chore. First I have a long list of client's gardens to put down for the winter. A freakishly warm and wet October has put me behind schedule.

I just want a basement patio ready for a candle light supper by spring. It is time to claim that space as an integral part of the garden.


Lisa Greenbow said...

This will be wonderful when you get it finished. I can imagine sitting there having a drink or two before dinner overlooking the garden... Now, get to work.

Christopher C. NC said...

I can't. It has been raining all day. Now it's dark.

Barry said...

I see how shoveling a few buckets of gravel would warm you pretty quickly on a cold dry day. I also think Mr. Bale has incredible patience to set so many like-sized pebbles in such intricate patterns - maybe he casts them in molds (like steppers?)and sets those together. I agree with you, just get the gravel down, test with a chair and a glass or two of wine. Repeat as needed.

Christopher C. NC said...

I'm seeing sunny and a high of 39 on Sunday Barry. As long as the wind is calm, I will find out how warm toting gravel will get me.

Lola said...

Have been waiting for fruitation. Will be ever so glad to see the final situation.