Thursday, May 24, 2012

Secret Garden Sidetracked

I’m back with more on the Secret Garden project!  First of all, I wanted to show you a special junk find that I’m using for it.

You might even say these prompted me to start this particular project.


Aren’t they cool?

I picked up these porch pillars from the curb a couple summers ago.  The homeowners had torn down their entire front porch and started over with all new materials.  These were laying out at the curb and I could not believe my good fortune!

It took me 2 trips to get them all home and they’ve been waiting in my storage space ever since.

Waiting for me to get around to this very project.


I purchased some metal post stakes so I wouldn’t have to dig a hole. (have I ever mentioned how much I HATE to dig? Especially post holes, yuck!)

The metal stakes are 30 inches long and take a lot of hammering to get into the ground!

Mike had to help me in the end, I was exhausted!

Then I slipped some 4x4 posts into the top sleeve of the stake. 

In the picture below they are very crooked because I was just trying it out and didn’t want to put them in all the way as I still needed to cut the posts down to the right height.


The porch posts are hollow and slip right over the 4x4’s to make fancy fence posts for holding the trellis panels.


I was going to use all 4, but in the small space it was a bit of overkill.  Remember, these pics are from the trial run for fit. 

Leveling and all that fun stuff will come later.


The end pieces of lattice will be attached directly to the shed on the left and the house on the right.

The entry arbor will be centered between the middle posts. 

In the picture above you can see how I’m using the lattice right now  to keep curious dogs out of the work area. 

See the post stake sticking up in the new center planting bed below? 


I have plans for that 4th post!

Ok, so this is where I got sidetracked.

Anytime you’re working on a project the work zone gets rather messy, I get that.

But when I was taking the pictures of the secret garden work, I realized how awful the area in FRONT of the secret garden was.  This was beyond construction mess, it was seriously bad.

I was dismayed.  How on earth was I ever going to make this look decent?


That brick paver path from the house had been installed by me on a whim one day several years ago and I didn’t level or properly prepare the base.

I just put the bricks on the ground and that was that.

Yeah, I know, that’s dumb.

You’re not supposed to do that.

Why not?

Well folks,  if it’s not prepped right the bricks will sink and water will puddle on the path making it a muddy mess every time it rains (or you use the hose).

Just ask me, I know!


What to do? 

It looks like hell.

I bit the bullet, grumbled a lot, and pulled up all the pavers.

And started over. 

This time with a shovel and lots of paver base and sand.


3 trips back to Home Depot for even more……

Finally I had it sloped properly away from the house and towards the patio.

I had to reset the whole walkway, leveling, pounding in the pavers and then finding something to edge the walkway to finish it off.


I settled on small retaining wall blocks.


Last night I finished the small section by the Japanese Maple corner.

I was able to use some of the plants Linda had so generously shared with me last month.  I still have a lot waiting in the raised planter holding area. (they’re flourishing in there!)


A few bags of mulch finished it off.



Ahhh, much better.

See how easily I get sidetracked?

Tomorrow I’ll get the other side done and then work my way back to the lattice fence build.

Oh yeah, umm, did I mention we have our first party of the summer planned for Sunday?

I’ve got some work to do!

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  1. WOW!!! Rose ~ you go girl!!! Great looks sooo good. Landscaping is hard work ~ but so rewarding when you're done.

  2. Sometimes I think we are the same person! LOL. I jump all over the place with my projects too. Your path looks awesome, what a difference! I've been moving rocks all over my yard so I feel your pain! Those post are fabulous you get the best curb scores!

  3. It all looks great and I bet your back is sore. Love that the old pillars slip over the new material.

  4. OMG, woman I am exhausted just reading this.

    What a HUGE difference that made Rose. It really finishes off that area nicely. LOVE IT.

    I was drooling over those pillars too... can't wait to see that done. It is looking fabulous so far. Great job buddy.


  5. you do so many fabulously amazing things, when i grow up i wanna be just like you, or should i say in my next life, since i am probably a bit older than you now, lol. I LOVE what you've done to the walkway, wish i had the confidence and know how to actually takle all the things i have to do on our new house. Right now i am just playing at being a diyer, lol. TFS
    P.S: constantly gobsmacked that you do all this yourself, you rock!!!

  6. LOVE the new paver look!!!! OH my gosh, it makes such a difference! That little area that is finished with the japanese maple looks awesome! :)
    I had no idea that those porch posts were hollow and fit over a 4x4. so cool!

    Have a great (productive) weekend, and hope your little shindig turns out great!

  7. Everything is going to look wonderfully inviting when you're done. You're off to a great start already. At least when YOU get sidetracked, you finish another project. When I get sidetracked I leave a pile of fabric on the basement floor....untouched for weeks. I really need to double my caffiene intake. :@

  8. I would love to invite you to join us and link up at our Friday Block Party at Curb Alert! The link is live now and throughout the weekend. Hope to see you there so we can follow along your garden transformation!
    Tami @ Curb Alert!

  9. Rose that looks awesome! Gosh you are so good at visualizing projects and making them happen! Have a great weekend! Hugs, Linda

  10. Rose you are so awesome, such a hard worker...your path looks neat...we are getting a brick path, too, so I may edge mine the way you did, yeah, I am a copy cat! I know when I see a good thing! Can't wait to see your secret garden.

  11. You don't have to tell me about getting sidetracked. It happens to me all the time. Your path is beautiful! You did a great job.

  12. Everythink is looking great!!!! the walkway is awesome.. wish I had more of your ambition to pull up mine and redue it right,..., but that will not happen. getting excited to see more of your progress.


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