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April 06, 2010

Faux Flagstones

It's a little embarassing to admit that we've been living here for almost two years and still have a mostly gravel front yard. We have grass growing over most of the back yard and the septic field, but the front is what suffered the most during constrution, and we've never really had a clear idea of what we wanted to do here, so we did the obvious - nothing.


We always thought we'd do a cottage style garden in the front, but where to start?  Sometimes all it takes is one thing to set the ball rolling.  My mom and stepdad decided recently that it was time to replace the aging concrete walk at the base of their entry stairs. I've read many articles over the years about people reusing broken concrete in their gardens to create the look of flagstones, and since we needed a path and lacked the funds required for real flagstones (and since we're always happy to rescue something otherwise headed for the dump), we jumped at the chance to breathe new life into their old sidewalk.

We spent an afternoon working in a torrential downpour, placing the "stones", until we had something that we liked the look of (top photo).  At first it required a bit of imagination to visualize how the pieces would look without their rough edges exposed, but after my husband spent days digging them in, I think they look surpisingly like the real thing.


We're creating garden beds alongside the stones and under the kitchen window which will echo the lines of the path.  For about five feet on either side of the stones (as well as between them), we're going to sow the same low maintenance grass seed that we planted over our septic field. 


This grass took a little while to get established in our very rocky soil, but now it looks great.  The resulting lawn is drought tolerant and requires little to no mowing. I for one am looking forward to seeing some green in this area, and to having less dust flying around when the weather turns dry.

The lesson here?  Sometimes avoiding a project pays off, giving opportunity (and inspiration) a chance to knock when it's good and ready.

I love it when a plan comes together.

7 comments:

Chiot's Run said...

I agree, sometimes living with something for a while gives you a better idea of what you want. I have found out that if I jump in too soon I often regret it and end up redoing it later.

Love the look!

Mel said...

Looks great! The muddy pants were definitely worth it :-)

Annie said...

That's going to look great!

Shawna said...

Looks GREAT!

We were lucky enough that one of my B-I-L's clients was getting rid of his flagstone something-or-other and my husband snatched up the stones from the rubbish pile. It makes a beautiful walk from one of our sitting areas up to our chicken coop... where we have a small planter made of stacked flagstone left by a neighbor when he foreclosed on his home.

Love finding new homes for previously used materials :-)

Anonymous said...

Hannibal always had the best lines.

Cheryl said...

Chiot's Run - That has definitely been our experience too. And it's much better than calling it procrastination. :)

Mel - Thanks! His poor workpants are looking worse by the week.

Annie - Thanks, I hope so!

Shawna - Wow, how lucky were you? What a score!

Anonymous - I wondered if anyone would catch my obscure A-Team reference. Now that I think about it, this can only be one person, and I don't think you're as anonymous as you think you are! (My apologies if this isn't actually my brother). :D

Anonymous said...

Of course I would get your obscure reference, and there are worse people to be mistaken for.

Yer DH

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