Making Paths

When we moved into this house, our front walkways were rotting, unsightly, and unsafe, and our hillside was really wild and unmanageable, covered in unkept bushes, trees, and weeds of all kinds.

So we hired landscapers to help us, because we needed professional help and advice.  This was too big a job to do or plan for ourselves.

The landscapers built a new path leading from the driveway on one side of the house to the front door

and from the top of our hillside down.

The landscapers also cleared stumps, and stones from right in front of the house up the hill to the tree-line, making it possible to grow grass in that section and making it possible to have beds of flowers around the biggest rocks that couldn't be moved.  

On the other side of the house, we had the landscapers clear out tons of overgrowth, but we could not afford to have them do more than that at this point. So we got their advice about what to do there, and we watched as they worked on the other parts of the yard and we asked tons of questions while they were here, so we feel confident that we can do that part of the work ourselves in the coming years if we are willing to be persistent.

The other day, I spent a few hours building a little staircase up to the new yard on that side of the house.  You can see my staircase in the picture below.

The top stone was already in place when we moved in and there were a few other stones down at the bottom, so it already suggested a staircase, but it wasn't a staircase.  When you stepped on the bottom rocks, they moved under your feet and at was really treacherous. But we always need to get up to the yard in that same spot, so I was determined to try and make an actual staircase with the stones there combined with others I pulled from other parts of the yard.

It was really physically difficult work and I got dirty head to toe. It was grueling to move even the smallest rocks in this picture from different places in the yard. It took persistence to get them into the right place and stand on them and then wiggle them again and then slip and start over. It took patience to find and add other little rocks under the big rocks in just the right spots so that the entire stairway was secure no matter how or where you stood on it.

But I did it!

And now that it has been a few days, and we have used the staircase everyday, the rocks still don't move when you walk up them, so I am quite proud of myself.

And then last night, Dwayne and I took two shovels and rake outside after dinner as the sun went down. We started digging up the little rocks on that side of the yard the landscapers cleared. We started making piles and piles of rocks of different sizes and we started exposing more and more of the bigger rock face.

Right now, we think we will build another gravel path on that side of the house, too, using the stones we pull out the ground over there to line the path.  (There are plenty!) The landscaper told us what gravel to use and where to buy it, etc.

We think we will use other stones to create more borders for more plants and flowers on that side of the house, too.

And, best of all, we are thinking we may build a nice fire pit with all our rocks! That side of the house is clear of trees and it would be safe to have a fire pit.  And, of course, being in the woods means we have tons of dead wood around that needs burning, including a massive old, wood pile that the previous owners must have never used.

I find that I really love rocks more than I knew and I knew I loved rocks when I moved here. Each rock I pull out of the ground feels like a treasure with potential to be used in a unique way to make the yard glorious.  It's strange, but I am actually glad we have limited funds and will have to do some of this good work for ourselves.


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