April 26, 2013

Backyard Landscaping Days 4-7: Encircling Flagstone Path, Etc.



After a second week of work by the landscaping company, progress has been made.  Much of it involved sprinklers and is hard to see, though I am very happy about the improved system.  The hugely expanded flagstone path lends itself to pictures more easily.  Here you can see the small section on the west side of our home that we put in three years ago.  The 'Elfin' creeping thyme groundcover has filled in, and the surrounding plantings are starting to show color.  A few dahlias are waiting in their pots to be planted.  You can see the new path past the gate.



Here is the view when standing right at the gate.  It's very bare but the path is pretty. 



And here is the view looking towards the east while standing at the northwest corner of the path.  Soon this view will include a large 'Black Lace' elderberry (Sambucus) on the left, a 'Shasta' doublefile viburnum in the corner, plus a bunch of 'Little Lime' hydrangeas and many smaller plants.  On the right you can see one of the five basalt boulders that were installed on Wednesday.  It looks lonely while waiting for more soil and surrounding plants to settle it in.



This is the view looking south while standing at the northeast corner of the path.  You can't see it well but the path makes a complete circle of the backyard with a section heading down the east side of the house to the garage and one down the west side to the front lawn.  Several of the neighborhood kids have come over to enjoy making endless loops around the path with my kids in tow.  Apparently it's fun to walk in circles if you're skipping from stone to stone. 



This is the path going down the east side of the house.  This area will be the true blue, lavender-mauve and lime color scheme garden.  Lots of big shrubs coming and lots of perennials, too.  The fence will be replaced next week, blocking the view out to the street.



Here is the view from my room's upper floor window of the northwest corner of the yard.  You can see why I'm excited for all the trees to grow and block the view of the other homes.



This shot shows the north center of the backyard.  Our less-than-attractive aluminum patio cover blocks the view of the south part of the path circle.  I cropped it out of the photo.  In a few years I hope to crop it out of my life and replace it with a classic looking white pergola.



Here is the view of the northeast corner of the yard.  The plywood is covering large holes where the new swing set will be installed.  It took longer than expected to ship and won't arrive until the middle of next week.  At that point the landscapers will return to install it, lay out the rest of the drip system, install the metal edging to contain the lawn, and reinstall the section of fence and tree they moved to create access.  Meanwhile we are hauling dirt and planting shrubs like crazy.  More pictures are coming soon!

13 comments:

  1. Oh I love the new flagstone pathway. Yes I can see that the neighbors are close there. LOL! Good to see that the trees are growing well and no damage done. I bet you are so excited to be planning on filling those new beds now. LOL! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  2. Hi VW,

    I've been looking forward to having another nose around your garden! :D
    It's looking good, and I'm sure will be amazing in no time at all.

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  3. I loooooooooooooove it. So much. Cannot wait to see it finished! :)

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  4. Your new flagstone path is beautiful! All your new beds will look so good filled in with plants. I hope it isn't too long before your trees provide some good screening.

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  5. Hi! I know this all has to have been a big hassle for you, but also there must be such a sense of excitement to be able to develop what is basically a clean slate! Since you are an experienced gardener, you are armed with knowledge that will make your design masterful... I can't wait to see it fully planted! Larry

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  6. Great design and I'm sure it will be a delight to stroll.

    That's a lot of flagstone! Good that you had help with the heavy work. My husband picked up all of our main flagstone walk as it had settled...graded again, put down the base and relaid the stone. He ached for a week after. What looked so simple was back-breaking.

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  7. Wow wow woow. Love the pathway, this is such an exciting transformation.

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  8. I love that pathway! I've been looking into designing my yard in a similar fashion, but I want to add a fire pit int he middle. What stone did you use for the pathway?

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    1. We used 'Cowboy Coffee' flagstone from Sunrise in Otis Orchards. Since it's light in color it doesn't get as hot on warm days and it kind of glows in the moonlight.

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  9. Your path is very nice. We are building a similar one now also in Spokane. I'm curious if you've been happy with the Elfin creeping thyme? I'm trying to choose a filler for the gaps within the path. It seems like there are quite a few options, but I think yours is a common one. Any advice on how you started it? Plants spaced every so many inches... And how big of plants did you use? Can you divide up a plant from a nursery into tiny starts? Start from seeds? Etc? Do you water it? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks, Laura

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    1. Laura, I bought packs of Elfin thyme from Home Depot or Lowes and cut them into the smallest pieces as I could that still had at least a bit of root and crown in them. I probably planted them a foot apart in spring and they weren't completely filled in by the end of the year, but they filled in the rest of the way the next year. I am happy with 'Elfin', though the flower color isn't perfect for color scheme on the west of our house. Oh well. Elfin stays low but it does want to keep growing to completely cover the stones. We planted it in 2010 and this spring, 2013, I paid my son to cut it around the edges of the stones to uncover them, as there were just little circles showing in the middle of the thyme. In the backyard I'm going to do Elfin on the east of the house, but I'm going to try Corsican mint and woolley thyme in other areas of the path.

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    2. And we do water it with the sprinklers. Not a whole lot of water, and it really bakes on that side of the house in summer. While it's filling in you'll want to water regularly, of course.

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  10. VW - Thank you for your advice - I'm sorry I didn't reply to you sooner. We ended up using Scottish Moss, but did cut up the starts into tiny pieces as you suggested. They seem to be doing great and area already spreading. Thanks! Laura

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