Where have we been? I don’t know. Somewhere in the last few months we got busy… really busy. We’ve been on trips, working on projects, fighting the summer heat, catching up with friends… pretty much an endless cycle of cramming our weeks full of things. We’ll fill you in later on all that stuff though. Just know that we’re still here and have fresh posts to put up. Let’s continue where we left off shall we?
A few months ago, as you’ll recall, we started preparing for an overall overhaul of our backyard landscaping which included a new fence, workshop, storage shed, and some other things we haven’t revealed yet. Let’s start with our first project of actually building something though… a path.
Bonnie and I rolled on down to the hardscaping yard and looked over the rocks we could use… lots and lots of rocks.
*Rocks and dirt are deceptively heavy. Even in a pickup truck, a small load can go past the payload capacity. This could lead to unsafe driving conditions for your vehicle.*
The choice was made to use slate chips as the filler for our pathway. Having no clue how much slate we actually needed, we consulted with the yard foreman who was very helpful in calculating the cubic yards that we’d need. With that number in hand, we told them to “Load ‘er up.” With the Super Duty loaded with about 3,000 pounds of slate chips (over a cubic yard), we headed back to the house.
*Buying hardscaping this way (by the ton) is usually a lot more economical than buying small bags or loads and almost always better than picking it up at the local big box store.*
The first task at hand when we got back home was to unload the slate chips. We threw a tarp down with the expectation that when it came time to move the remaining chips that it would be a lot easier to do so this way.
At first, you may try to scoop the chips out with a shovel. While that seems like a great idea, you’ll get very tired very quickly. My advice, grab a hoe and push (that may be the lyrics to a rap song). When it is time to move the slate chips, grab your pointed shovel (not the typical square landscaper’s shovel) and move the chips. The pointed shovel is much easier to push into the pile. Trust me on that.
Before we put down the slate chips, we raked and leveled the path as best we could and then put down some landscaper’s fabric to prevent weeds and possibly make it easier to remove the path should we ever choose to do so in the future.
Well, even though it appeared level, we still had to come back and fill under our stepping stones with sand to get them where we wanted them. This also helped lock the stones in place by keeping them still. A rocking stone will eventually begin to move or crack.
With the stepping stones set, we came back and filled the rest in with our slate chips. Do not try to fill first and then set your stepping stones. You’ll hate yourself. While it doesn’t look like Bonnie did anything, trust me, she was shoveling rocks side by side with me. Who do you think took all these pictures?Wiley Cat inspecting our work while hunting through the monkey grass. No, his tail is not on fire.
Now, where does this path go? Well, follow along over the next few posts as we continue our build of our backyard.
Ideas? Thoughts? Comment below.