Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poor Man's Patio Part 2

This is poor man's patio, one week later. I went to my corner hardware store and bought their cheapest ($4.99) bucket of gray, unsanded indoor/outdoor grout. In a bucket, I mixed some sand with the grout (which is basically portland cement). Then I shoved the mixture into all the gaps around the stones, pushing it into all the open spaces formed from a week of settling sand.

I wet the mixture with my watering can and got sloppy smoothing the wet cement with my broom. A day later, sufficiently cured, I rewet the surface to begin cleaning the grout residue from the surface of the slate. I wouldn't advise anyone to make a patio this way, but it works -in a devil may care sort of way. As I said in patio part 1 -if I were doing this right, I'd prepare a proper bed of gravel underneath the patio and then use crusher fines directly beneath the slate and in between the stones. But this is a cheapo patio.

A week back I planted the perennials around the patio. This weekend I applied a layer of cedar mulch. I did this primarily because this is what is advised given the amount of heavy metals in my soil. It so happens that in building my patio I turned a lot of the old soil over and onto the surface. The soil dust blows around, settling on my herbs or in my lungs. It can get pretty dry in my yard, as I rarely water. So the mulch keeps the dust down, or that's the theory anyhow.

All the perennials, no matter their location, are quite far along this season. The ferns I transplanted from the front yard were mere bumps a week ago -now fronds.

Dicentra eximia, a native of N. American eastern forests, exploded after replanting.

Brunnera macrophylla, or false forget-me-not or Siberian bugloss, variegated. This was barely hanging on underneath the old vegetable planters. It'll probably come back quite vigorously next year.
The potted chives are sending up its flowering stems.

The thyme is alive and well, if coming up much later than its neighboring oregano.

1 comment:

  1. Really nice. Lovely dicentra photo.I must get out to take pics of the ones in the neighbourhood.


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