Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jardin a la Maison de Shady

Or some such thing as that... I took French in high school and college, but that's been WAY too long ago! :-)

Anyway, what I Really want to show you is the project I started at the end of the Summer and into the Fall.

This is a part of the yard that cannot grow grass. In fact, weeds don't even grow here! This picture was taken mid-August, when I just couldn't wait to start! Yes, spreading sand is premature. And I know you're supposed to dig down about 6 inches, make a base of gravel, and sand, but since the edges were already above the ground...

This is the Walkway that Shady's Making

These are the rocks that Shady got,
to go in the walkway she's making.
(In fact, this is load #2)

This is the Beginning -
Laying the Rocks that Shady got,

to Go in the Walkway She's Making.

At this point, I discovered the necessity of digging individual holes,
as each rock is a different thickness. And, believe me... they're
not going anywhere! :-)

Here are the Rocks,
In the Beginning,
Being Sorted and Spaced,
Laying the Rocks that Shady got,

to Go in the Walkway She's Making.

This is Mid-point, Past the Beginning -
Laying and Sinking
the Rocks that Shady got,

to go in the Walkway She's Making.

(Can you now tell why nothing grows here?
It is pure woodland clay soil, too.)

This is Mid-point,
(Photo October 25, 2008)
Past the Beginning -
Laying and Sinking

the Rocks that Shady got,

to go in the Walkway She's Making.

This is the leaf-raked photo,
Showing the Progress

(Photo November 18, 2008)
At the Mid-point,
Past the Beginning -
Laying and Sinking
the Rocks that Shady got,

to go in the Walkway She's Making.

Can you tell the need for checking the level?
Perhaps re-laying some of the rocks?
I may have to seek some help...
A few of those rocks are huge and heavy!

But not until Spring! :-)


flydragon said...

lol, your's is much better than "this is the house that Jack built" because you've got the pics to go along with it.

Northern Shade said...

I love the look of natural stone under the trees. It already looks great. The finished walkway will look like a settled part of the landscape when you are finished.

Gail said...

A good job... Shady...stone work is difficult work and requires a strong back and believe it or not, good abdominal muscles to support the back.
I am impressed and love the stone walk in the wooded part of your garden!


Idiosyncratic Biddys said...

That's so gorgeous...We are going to do the same with all these stones we have. Worth all the labor huh?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Whew, it wore me out just looking at all the work you did. It is just great though. Well worth the effort. Maybe some of those rocks will settle in over winter. :)

Shady Gardener said...

flydragon, :-) Thanks! I'm glad you caught it... it was a bit of a stretch. ha.

Northern Shade, I like the looks of it, too. Sometimes I just have to look out the window! lol. But, there's a lot yet to do!!! (I want to put pea gravel on top of the sand between the rocks when I'm done.)

Gail, I'm thankful for my trusty Rubbermaid wheelbarrow (2 wheels and 2 back supports!). It's very sturdy and dependable. But, yes. I'm glad I have a good back!

idiosyncratic... Thanks for your visit. It's worth the labor. I'll be happy to see what you do!

Hi Lisa. Thanks for your visit and compliment. We can hope for a little settling to occur this Winter! :-)

Gail said...


I loved the post you sent me to see! It was really cool! It helps that succulents are such great plants. It would work with my cat...he can't jump that high! Thanksfor the suggestion.

I do really like the new walkway you put in...don't you love working with the stone! Such a sense of accomplishment~~gail

Kathleen said...

omg, I can't believe you were able to keep this project under wraps for so long Shady!! It's fabulous and a TON of work!! Way to go, you're going to love it for a long time.

Patsi said...

Wow,what a project!!
Your back had to hurt.
Love the path you've created.
I want ot see more.
Still can try deadnettle again. :)ha

Chandramouli S said...

My God! I can't believe you did it all by yourself! Hats off to you. That's a back-breaaaa----king job!

Dellits said...

oh my gosh! what a great idea! it looks gorgeous!

the next time we are home during the warm weather, we really need to get down to the shady spot so i can see all of this in person!

The Garden Faerie said...

That looks like some project! Yes, rocks are amazingly heavy... and the longer you're working, the heavier they get. I like the look; does it even matter if it's not perfectly level? Love the trees and woods. So peaceful looking.
~ Monica
P.S. Because (yes, I'll admit it) I'm a bit of an Eminem fan, the lyric "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? Please stand up?" ran through me head as I read your post. Don't worry, if you don't like Eminem, it was still meant as a good thing! :)

troutbirder said...

Yikes you are way too ambitious. I loved the idea of limestone pathways but opted for free mulch from the city tree depository.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Gail! I'm glad you think it would work... now, to make it! ha?
Yes, I love to look outside the window at what I've started. :-)

Kathleen, I think the reason I hadn't posted earlier, is that I just wanted to do more work on it. (But then I remembered I need more stone... and that it's a LOT of work! ha!) :-) Next Spring, though...

Patsi, I'm going to ask a friend to help me go to a different quarry next Spring. Want to go, too? ;-) I'll post again!! I guess I'll try Dead Nettle one more time...

Chandramouli S, Thanks for stopping to visit. I'm not always that energetic! ha.

Dellits, If you come home next Spring, I'll put you to work!!! :-)

Monica, The "level" bit may not be as important as just not having any edges standing high enough to trip someone. I'm sorry I don't know who eminem is, but I'll thank you anyway! :-)

troutbirder, The mulch idea has gone through my mind several times! However, this walkway is right by the house and all I could think about was my tracking in more litter. ;-) (How does it work, anyway?)

bhavani said...

Good job dude, u've done a gr8 job
North shore plumbing

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It looks great! I wonder if the clay subsoil is going to cause any heaving over the winter? It always seems that we underestimate the amount of time & energy a project will take. Which is a good thing, or we'd never tackle anything.

Shady Gardener said...

bhavani - thanks for stopping by

MMD, Thank you! I've wondered about the heaving. We'll see. My neighbors have a flagstone walkway that just sits there all the time... ;-) And aren't you right, with that last comment? We'd only be thinkers (and lamenters) instead of do-ers... Yikes!

IBOY said...

Shady... and now a nice water feature beside the path??


Shady Gardener said...

Don, are you volunteering? lol :-)

Frances said...

Hi Shady, having done lots of stone work here, we know the effort expended, but I really really enjoyed your presentation and was singing along...la la la! It already looks fabulous!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Frances, Thanks for your visit and compliment! Maybe that's what I need... a little background accompaniment while I work! :-)

Anonymous said...

Love the nice, natural look and accompanying verse. Appreciate the effort, as I've done a similar, much smaller, path in a Japanese garden.

Break out the liniment, hot chocolate and an easy chair... hibernate (you've earned it) until spring and the BIG finish! Great post! /Deb

Aiyana said...

It's going to be a gorgeous walkway, but it's obviously back-breaking work! Level walkways are important or else you'll feel like you're listing to one side or the other. Also, even an unevenness of 1/4 inch can cause trips and falls. I have a block sidewalk that remained even for a couple of years, but tree roots have raised some spots and now I trip every time I'm walking.

MrBrownThumb said...

Looks pretty good. I just plopped some stones on my path and called it a day. Didn't even both with half the work you've put into it.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Deb, I like the way you think! ha. Actually, I've been taking it easy this morning... opened a new 750 piece puzzle and have been happily working away! (I know I have plenty to do before Wednesday, but it will get done...) ha.

Aiyana, Thank you for your comments and I commiserate. I have another little walkway I put in right after we moved in. It looks okay and works alright, but because it's on the downslope... one lists a bit to the side! ;-)

Hi Mr.BTh, Glad to have you stop by! Well, the work has only just begun as I need more flat rocks and in order to dig them in, those in place need to be moved away and back again. Hmmmm. I should have looked at the complete picture before diving in! ha. But it'll be wonderful when it's done... and it'll last for a Long Time! :-)