The day in yard project: Garden pathway

May 30, 2011


So for five years I’ve had these round pavers, languishing in stacks in front of my place, waiting for the whim to overtake me to make them into a path. My new upstairs neighbor bugged me all last summer to do it and I coyly demured. The last thing I want is to be told when to do something, or for it to seem like I’m doing something because somebody suggested it. Today, I finally got in the mood naturally and, thankfully, without any helpers.

Our section of yard was the only one without some sort of little path. Five summers ago I lugged home nine round stones from Home Depot. I wasn’t ready to actually labor that day so I set them aside and there they stayed. I originally measured taking into account having space in between each one. Soon after I decided I didn’t want space between them. I never went back to buy the two or three extra stones. But in the intervening years, I’ve found two flat, square pieces of concrete or something that will do.

Yesterday, the bug nudged its way into my pants and I laid the stones out. At work I’m doing a book about gardening and one of the tips for making pathways is to lay the stones down and let them kill whatever’s underneath so you’ll know how much space to clear. I put them down, pretty sure that I was just going to dig everything up. I don’t want grass in between.


Today, I  grabbed the hoe and went to it. I was quite pleased indeed that it didn’t take long at all to dig up the grass, less than an hour. However, a little while later, my thumbs of all things got tired from the impact of all the hoeing. Even now, they’re feeling pretty weak.  Nevertheless, the speed with which I cleared the grass kept me enthusiastic about the project.


I had a supervisor (Dasie).


After I started embedding the stones in the dirt and it became apparent that the rest of the job would not go as quickly, I broke out the beer.


After about three hours, the stones were fairly snugly set with dirt repacked around them. The trouble with the project that you can’t see is that the stones kind of rise and fall due to unhackable large roots of the maple tree in the yard. There were two. I straddled one, but a stone had to sit on the other one to maintain the spacing. Oh well.


Then I decide that another phase of the project needed to be moving the little rock border forward. So I did that. Then I decided, after four hours, that I was done for the day. Or rather, my body decided for me. I think I’ll get some impatiens to put in the newly-vacated space.


I had planned to wait to grill until tomorrow, but it suddenly seemed like a good idea. I had package of pork country style ribs thawed and ready to go.


It was a good decision. It was a delicious meal with which to reward all my hard work. I was, however, a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to move again once I sat down.


I took some ibuprofen eventually and that really helped. But then I got the best comfort (CJ)!

One Response to “The day in yard project: Garden pathway”

  1. Meghan Chiampa Says:

    "The last thing I want is to be told when to do something, or for it to seem like I???m doing something because somebody suggested it." — lol I know what you mean.

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