|The yard in full summer bloom 2012|
|Details of the walkway|
|The yard in 2010|
To break it up and make it easier to manage with weeding and planting, I wanted to build in a walkway, but I wasn't sure what it would look like until I went to a local quarry and chose the stone you see here. My cousin Al suggested stone, and I thank him for that! I bought a ton of lanstone, which they delivered, and thought whatever was left over I could find a place for. As it turned out, I used every bit of stone to make 2 distinct pathways- one horizontally across the yard, and another that reaches from that point to the sidewalk. I think somewhere I read that doing this makes it more inviting. Under the walkway, I put sand to help level it out, but still wanted dirt underneath so I could plant in the crevices.
I left a space for "something" in the way of structures, but I didn't really know what I wanted until our neighbor across the street suggested a swing. I have thanked her mentally every day since, because Omar and I sit out there every day it's nice and eat popsicles or talk about the day. It's a great place to chat with neighbors. The kids love to sit out there and swing. I found this rustic swing on a website and loved that it came in a box and was about $200. Those I had seen in stores were much more expensive and didn't seem to be so sturdy. What I hadn't considered, was that it would come to me in about 50 pieces and I'd be left assembling a huge lincoln log set! It took me all day, because there were no directions. And then I realized once I had it built in my driveway that it was way to heavy to move to the garden location on my own. I had to get some help from my neighbors. It quickly became a 'community project'!
|Swing as it arrived|
As far as maintenance, there really is very little work. Of course I need to pull weeds. There are always dandelions and grass that tries to take over if I wait too long. The first year I tried to pull out the violets, but now I'm starting to embrace them, as I realize they will win in the end. Then there's the normal clean up you would do anyway with dead plants. What I don't miss is the mowing, fertilizing, and trimming. Somehow this seems like an easier option over having a lawn. I always have fresh flowers to bring in the house. If it's too dry, it needs watering. I also use miraclegro about 4 times during the summer.
Hope you've enjoyed my story, and if you're in Milwaukee, WI, you can always drop in and sit on the swing with me and have a popsicle. If this inspires you to pull out your front lawn, be sure to let me know how your project turns out.
|You can really fit a lot into this little car!|
|Creating a walkway with stones|
|Laying out all the plants|
|Immediately after planting|