Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekend project - Shed

Our shed entryway had these really cool pieces of slate forming a walking....like so:

While we loved the slate...we felt this curvy pathway was kinda like the road to nowhere. It so well defined but then it just stopped. There's also the messy grass growing up....which was actually covering a significant amount of some of the stones. We've wondered what to do about it.

Then this weekend while Terry was working in the yard and cutting grass, he peeked under one of the stones and discovered that underneath this beautiful slate, was one BIG MEGA ant nest. We're talking....a complex. Not just any complex, a complex complete with a roof deck (that would be the spillovers coming up between the slate pieces) and love den penthouses (that would be the rocks underneath which we found many many eggs, YUCK!).

Enter the pesticide. I'm all about being earth friendly, but I don't want to be chewed alive by ants. So after an hour reading the backs of pesticide bottles in the home improvement store, we opted for a pesticide which seems like it will work well enough to help out with the ants, but won't harm the grass or wildlife (i.e. cat that frequents our backyard). Terry also decided since we had to pull up all the slate, this was an excellent opportunity for a redesign!!!!

After my weeks of watching HGTV and DIY network, we have learned a few things. Thanks to some episodes of Yard Crashers and Desperate Landscapes, coupled with a little research, we had a strategy of resetting the stones in a way that will (hopefully) minimize grass regrowth and insect burrowing.

First we planned our new design...a little more symetrical and intentionally less defined:

Then we got to work!! Terry dug out the ground a few inches so we could lay drainage gravel, packing sand, and then mini marble chips (white top layer). This is kinda the technique you use when laying a paver walkway or driveway. Then we set the slate in the marble rock bed. After some jumping and wiggling the stones, and wetting them down a few times to help everything pack, we were done!!!
What do you think??


Abby said...

I think your pictures aren't showing up! =/ Odd.

KellieBelle said...

Aw, stinky :(
Let me try again!!

Abby said...

Seems to be working now! It looks great! I hope whenever I get a house I have half your motivation. ;-)

Carrie said...

I think it looks great!! Nice job! :)

Heather said...

I like it. When we get a house that actually has a yard you want to come to Nashville for a work vacation since you guys do a great job :)

Delly said...

Wow that looks much better. Looks better than anything a hired person would do! Well done!