House and Home

Pack it up and Move on in — part 4: A Patio Project and a Garden Fence

After a new well pump, a $3000 investment in a water system, and fighting the battle of low water/no water for several months, a city water line came past our house.  We bit the bullet, disconnected our new investments, and tapped into the new line.  Water problem solved.

In the fall, I started digging flower beds. In the spring, I bought a small “Mantis” rototiller and we dug a vegetable garden. Doc was worried about the deer and groundhogs.  I argued that a garden would be fine.  He insisted on building a fence.  I thought he meant a “fence.” You know, one of those 3 foot tall things made of chicken wire or plastic mesh that keeps out the rabbits. No, he meant a “FENCE.” He erected an 8 foot tall structure with 12-foot 2×4’s that surrounded the 20 x 20 foot garden plot. He then completely covered it–forming walls and ceiling– with chicken wire.  He fashioned a full sized door at one end. These would be the most expensive tomatoes and salad greens of all time.

We bought the one acre lot adjacent to our property when it went up for sale. We didn’t really need it but we wanted to protect our privacy and the extra land has been nice. There are black raspberries on that lot and Doc has cut nice walking trails through the trees.  An old tavern foundation still stood on the property that was full of brick and large foundation stone. Doc spent the summer digging out rock and hauling it in a wheelbarrow to our back yard.  He set the stones in dirt that he dug and hauled from a huge pile at the lower end of our property. He built a large patio and a walkway around my new flower beds.  He used the brick to make an inner “courtyard.” It’s primitive, but beautiful nevertheless.

You don’t have to buy expensive stones and sand to build a patio.  I’m a big believer in “use what you have.”  Sure, someday when we have a few extra thousand lying around we may want to upgrade.  But I doubt it.  It was a lot more work than having a pallet of stones delivered.  But by “using what we had” we have our patio NOW instead of having to wait how many years until we “had the money.”

We next bought picket fencing and enclosed the courtyard area.  Doc put an arbor at one end and I planted clematis and climbing roses on each side.

It was a year of outdoor projects.  Much work resulting in a beautiful outdoor living space.



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