Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Flagstone walkway inspiration

My previous post shows the flagstone walkway we just put in around our new vegetable area. You may have noticed a green pot sitting in the middle of the walkway. That wasn't a mistake (although the actual green pot may not be what we use in the end).

My inspiration for this walkway with the vase came from the Herb Gardens at the Janesville, WI Rotary Gardens. I visited these with my mom and the kids over the summer and was taken with the 3 small Herb Gardens that were flagstone walkways flanked with low lying herbs. The walkways expanded out and in the center was a vase filled with plants, or a statue. It was a lovely focal point and I wanted to emulate that look.

Here are some of the photos.

Backyard Garden: Vegetable Garden flagstone patio

Our September project was building the hardscape of the vegetable garden.  In April, I posted the plan for the vegetable garden per our landscape designer and it's problems. We had all summer to think about the vegetable area with not much initiative, so what got our butts in action in September?

Free flagstone.

The garden PLAN

Our neighbors were going to tear out their flagstone patio and wanted to get rid of it all.  Never one to turn down some free flagstone - even if the plan ddn't call for it - we decided to take it and that helped kick star us into figuring out how this area was going to look.

The area BEFORE

In the end we didn't detract from the overall "idea" of the landscape designer. We just had to tweak it to fit A) flagstone (not square 4x4 pads) and B) the attached shed which we decided to keep (and the plan doesn't have).

Pulling up the old pavers, leveling out the sand

We made the garden beds more rounded, keeping with the flow of the other garden beds (as opposed to the square beds in the design), although the placement of them still causes concern for te types of vegetable we are going to plant.

Laying the new flagstone

Against the house, I hesitate to plant veggies because I don't want to water close to the foundation. And the other bed, I hesitate to plant anything that gets messy looking because it's out in the open. So the vegetable aspect is still a work in progress.

Adding extra topsoil, compost and sand between the stones

On the other hand, this area is very hot and sunny so I can play with different plants that I can't otherwise have in my backyard garden beds.

Adding the mulch

To be continued next Spring ...

Larry, Darryl, & Darryl: The Judd Viburnums

That was my affectionate name for the 3 Judd Viburnum in our front yard, planted by previous owners.  Larry stands alone at the front, while Darryl & Darryl stay behind like guardsmen on either side of the walkway.

July 13, 2013
 October 5, 2013

I've tended to Larry, Darryl & Darryl for the last 8 years and I love(d) them for their fragrance in the springtime, their gorgeous velvet foliage, and their lovely fall color.

What I didn't love was having to prune them about 3 times during the summer. As you can clearly see from the photo, these shrubs are large - Judd Viburnum (Viburnum x juddii) reach 6'-8' tall and wide and the previous owners planted Darryl & Darryl only 2 feet from the walkway. I was constantly pruning them back so we could walk to our front door. They were becoming a nuisance.

"Sighted poorly" is often a reason good shrubs get removed and this is what had to happen in our case. After 8 years, we decided that Darryl & Darryl had to go and it was a sad departure. We left Larry, although he seems pretty lonesome. We won't give any new friends until next Spring after we get a new walkway put in. For now, we're enjoying how open the space looks and that you can enjoy seeing the front door & the Oakleaf Hydrangea (both previously hidden away!).

RIP Darryl & Darryl 2013