Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Try, Try, and Try Again- Don't Do as I Do!

Do you have spots in your yard where grass doesn't grow well? A spot that stays a bit soggy in the winter?  We have such a spot next to the driveway near the garage. My desire to have a sitting space in this part of the yard led us to decide to put in a rustic flagstone patio. Step one- dig out the area to give room for the flagstones to be level with the surrounding yard. We also put down a weed barrier, pinned down with some long nails.  

Step two- have the flagstones ready to place... sort of a dry fit.

Step three- sand to level the area and give the stones a base for nestling in.

Step four- place the uneven natural stones in a pattern to form the patio.

Hmm, too much space between the stones, move them closer.

Step back and access the work.

Step five- brush more sand over the stones to fill the gaps. 

More sand, the stones were so irregularly shaped, it wasn't easy to get the tops even enough as to not have a trip factor.

Step six- my plan was to plant mosses in the cracks- make it a little green. Some moss was purchased and some was harvested in other spots in my garden.

After watering the mosses well, we called it done....until it wasn't. We had a big rainstorm and the run-off from the driveway washed out a lot of the sand. 

Wash, rinse, repeat....time to pull all stones out, put the sand in a holding area and try again.

I tried to pull the seams closer, making the spaces smaller. 

Decided to mulch between the seams, mulch being heavier than the sand.

I did save some of the mosses and replanted them.

I liked how it looked. Lots of heavy work, moving those flagstones on and off the patio area...multiple times. Aughhh

Then it rained again. Time to change course. See all the sand that washed out again? 

We used a product that will harden and form a stronger surface, Gator Dust. Did we follow all the instructions on how to do a patio? No. It started as a flagstone area that would have the stones set into the soil like you would place a pathway, cutting one stone in at a time. Our plans changed a number of times over the course of a couple months as we regrouped -- I just wanted a spot to set a chair and enjoy this part of the garden. I didn't want it perfect and uniform- just wanted a hard surface without trip factors and no stones that rocked loose when stepped upon. 

We left it as is. The stones don't move, most of the tops of the stones are even with the ones next to them and the cracks are still filled. Then we got a puppy.... who liked to pull all mosses out of the cracks. Rotten dog.

Onward to the next project. Many of you remember the dry creek bed we put in summer of 2016,  if not you can read about it here.  Well, we had a lot of these baked potato sized rocks leftover. I did another hardscape project with some and now it was time to use more. Poor planning left these rocks at the bottom of the yard. They are piled up behind a garden at the 445 feet above sea level spot in the new lot. The place I wanted to use them is up by the front door...about 468 feet above sea level. I do not have a level lot. 
So, I filled my little red wagon with enough rocks to cover the bottom and proceeded to pull the now very heavy wagon up the hill. I made this trip six times. 

The spot to fill is along the sidewalk. This is a spot where the older dog runs out the front door and stops to do his business. Nothing was growing, so it was time to do something else. Our first plan was just mulch, a semi-level spot so we didn't have too much wash out. What we do have though is a puppy. She liked my mosses, and now she has learned the fine art of digging. The mulched area was an ideal spot to use those big moose-like paws and dig. I covered the area with the potato rocks around the few stepping stones placed earlier to make getting  to the yard earlier. I think it looked pretty good. 

See the evil little dog watching me from the shade of the Magnolia tree? She likes to watch and see what I am doing in the garden, what she can undo.

I no sooner went in and she started digging again. She thinks those potato sized rocks are a good size to play with. Oh please let her grow out of this phase. I have since added twice as many rocks to this spot. She is digging less. She is now a little over a year old and getting better every day. She is an 80 lb. 15 month old German Shepherd pup. Liebling.

More projects to share soon. I feel as though much of this gardening year was redoing something Liebling had torn up. 

©Copyright 2017 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. I feel your pain. Redoing that patio THREE times! Wow. My back hurt just reading about it all. Hope the Gator Dust solves the washout problem...but I'm not sure what to suggest about Liebling's love of moss.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she outgrows some of this destructiveness, too. And I'm betting that she will - in another year or so, when she makes it past the adolescent stage.

    I hear red pepper can be a good deterrent.....

  2. You have more energy and patience than I would have! I envy you all the sun.

  3. Trial and error - that's a gardeners life! I had a weed infested/slopped area behind a shed that I've just mulched and am hoping to moss up next year (or creeping thyme is a good alternative too). Not sure how well this will work, esp. as I never see that spot so it likely will get forgotten, but I'm gonna give it a try.

  4. I like the results of your projects, even though they took a lot of time and re-work. Liebling sure is a cutie. I agree with Gail: You have more energy and patience than I do. ;-)

  5. Well, your determination and work ethic is admirable. You've also demonstrated one of several reasons why we don't have a dog (the main one being that Judy doesn't like dogs).

  6. Ha, the joys of gardening with a dog:) Sophie is almost 9 years old now, so she doesn't play with rocks like she used to, but Teddy (my daughter's little mini-Yorkie) discovered how much fun it was to "help" me plant tulips. Your finished projects look great, by the way!

  7. Pam, I bumped something, and the screen ate my comment. Anyway, puppies are a pain in the patootie. I have one too. You are a tough woman for dragging those stones back and forth three different times. I applaud you. I hope your puppy grows out of this phase soon.~~Dee

  8. My Jack Russell used to "help" in the garden. Oh my word. For some reason she found someone digging with a shovel to be really exciting, and would hang onto the shovel, shrieking. Literally shrieking. Who knows why. LOL If I didn't watch her like a hawk it would literally look like a Tasmanian devil went through the garden. She also thought weeding was super fun and would literally do flips in the air trying to catch weeds as I tossed them over my shoulder.

    I hope your dog stops digging up everything soon for the sake of your sanity.

  9. Super útil saber sobre esse assunto, não é mesmo?


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