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Project of the Week

posted Apr 23, 2013, 7:40 AM by James Roe
There is so much we want to do on our home and grounds that I tend to break it up into 'projects.'  Work a project and move on to the next.  Maybe it will all get done someday.

I have never liked the usual, typical front yard of American suburbia - the driveways that lead straight into a garage such that the garage door becomes the de facto entrance to the home.  We faced the same situation when we bought our place.  We have a large front yard and I entertained thoughts of a circular drive that would bring visitors more toward our front door but nothing really jelled in my mind.  Our driveway (that leads straight into the garage) is rather wide and I discovered that angle parking was possible such that several visitors could park without blocking anyone in so that early arrivals could depart at will.  This would have visitors parking their car farther down the driveway  which would necessitate a new path to lead visitors to our front door.

To make sure visitors would recognize the new pathway we decided to close off the old pathway which was a short sidewalk from the garage door to the left side of the front porch (typical contractor design).  We have discovered that the left side of our front porch is our favorite spot in good weather and we usually have breakfast and lunch there (dinner if the Sun is not too hot - our house faces West).  We placed a table and chairs there for such uses and, under the old arrangement, we would have to push them back to make a pathway.  By closing off the old entrance we realized we would create a new, more usable space (breakfast nook?) that would really enhance our happy home.  Along the front of the porch we planted some more Knockout Roses as a hedge and sort of knee wall to our new space.  These roses compliment the roses on the other end of the porch which unifies the whole look.  The space between the roof and the rose hedge makes a picture "window" to allow us to enjoy the view to the West (which includes farm fields and woods).

We decided a circular arc would be the most attractive design for the new pathway.  This would mark off a space inside the arc for special treatment and we have already placed our big ol' rock there in anticipation of the new arrangement (see earlier blog about the big ol' rock).  The final design of this area is a work-in-progress so stay tuned for further developments.  The pictures below are worth thousands of words of explanation of what we accomplished.


We first struck off the inner and outer arcs and removed the existing sod.


We laid paving bricks in a bed of sand.  The pattern is soldier courses on each side with a running bond up the middle.


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