Posted in The Now

The Path

Since so many of you have been inquiring (you haven’t)*, since the Heartland Gardening Board of Exceptionally Self-Reflexive Bloggers (HGBESRB) has asked that I contribute 500 more words (they haven’t)**, and since I’m procrastinating about getting out there this morning and doing another section of this project (I most certainly am it’s hard work actually)***, here are some nice pictures and words.

As recounted in a previous episode here, I decided to excavate the path the bisects my back grassy area to restore it to its’ Original Greatness. I can only guess at this greatness since the FSBO guy essentially buried Magical Realist Lady‘s landscape craft under two years’ worth of  neglect.

But in my digs, I’ve found evidence of intelligent cultures dating back at least ten years, and possibly even more ancient technology will be unearthed as we continue. They dug a pathway into the earth in a sunken living room effect, then lined the edges with black plastic edging. They laid down rather unevenly shaped flagstones on top of a bed of packed sand. They filled in the edges with river rock, and rejoiced. All of this was lost under years of erosion, overgrowth, weed invasion, and I suspect a lack of interest in gardening in general.

Anyway, you already know I dug out all around the stones and began sorting rocks from dirt, making piles, and ended up with a bunch of sandy effluent filler as well.

rocks filler

So then I dig out the whole pathway trench which I should have just done in the first place, piled all the dirt on the side, leveled that out, laid a bit of card board in there, and covered that cardboard with about an inch of the dug out dirt, and sprayed it down. Then I moved to the next section and did the same thing. I should have thrown in some corn gluten or other organic weed barrier but I was on a roll:

cardboard 1

Once the water soaked in, I took some of the effluent and dirt and spread it around like a concrete mix, raising the level of the bed an inch or so more. The flagstones has sort of sunk in over time, and I wanted them back level with the yard. Once the bed was raised and flattened, I set in the flagstones and loosely threw some of the recovered River Rock around them:

rocks leveled

This looks pretty good but we’re not done yet. I had to work out a little special bit where some nozzle thingy access hole is:

rocks pipe thing

Then fill in the edges with effluent sandy filler and tamp that down to make a weed barrier:

rocks edges

When you feel good about all that and have made it sure it’s level the way you like, it’s time to finish it off with the nice new Pea Gravel:

rocks done

My wife came out to see if I had died yet from sun exposure, stood in the back doorway and said “Hey that looks good” with a sort of genuine enthusiasm that made me stop and note, “It sounds like you really mean that,” to which she replied, “Well it does.”I had to agree, it turned out pretty Pro.

Today I’m continuing down The Path, right after this coffee is finished. I swear. Here are two images that show how I need to next level out the grassy areas, which have grown into sort of Indian Burial Mound shapes. I’m not sure where the added layers of earth have come from – maybe just years of composted dead grass and dog hair?

In any case, I’m going to level all that out and use the same Lasagna Gardening technique as a weed-and-grass killer, leaving that beautiful mess to cook for all of August, then spend a long winter composting itself. I the Spring I shall plant the Dog Tuff grass plugs. So then, future plans…

Until then, happy excavating!

* I mean, where is the lively sidebar discussion about flagstone pathways? Hello?

** I am a valued member of several important fictitious organizations.

*** I don’t mind hard work but I get up super early and try too be quiet until I can’t stand it anymore and something needs to happen.

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Author:

Graphic designer / project manager / gardener living in Denver, Colorado.

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