Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some January Before-And-Afters

On Martin Luther King Day, the weather was beautiful and I had the day off from work. I did sleep in, but then I did the Responsible Domestic Goddess thing and scrubbed my siding with bleach water. Some parts didn't really need it at all, but others, like the north-facing wall shown here, were in desperate need of washing.

Then, this afternoon (the weather is still gorgeous), I had both time and motivation to do something about my front walkway. As you can see from this photo, many of the stones are obscured or completely hidden by a lethal combination of the gravel that the stones are supposed to be resting in, the oak leaves that are beginning to fall, and this year's bumper crop of acorns.

Now, this is absolutely not meant to be a permanent fix. Sometime this summer (you folks hold me to this, now), I plan to dig out all the dirt/gravel mix, level the area so it doesn't slope towards the porch, put in some mulch (much less dangerous when mixed with spherical acorns), and lay the big rocks in a logical, easily-walked path. Today, however, I was just digging out the rocks and laying them in an easily-walked path.

I used a garden rake and a little three-pronged hand cultivator to lever the rocks out of the dirt and to somewhat level the ground. Then I started with the big rocks, shuffling each one into the dirt and stepping on all the sides and corners to be sure they wouldn't tip. If they did tip, I just shoveled some dirt/gravel/leaves/acorns underneath until they were very stable. I tried to keep them at easily-paced distances from each other, so I wouldn't have to hop from oddly-placed stone to oddly-placed stone as I've done in the past (when I didn't just ignore the rocks and track the gravel into the house).

When I finished, I raked the extra dirt mixture over everything to fill in, then swept the tops of the rocks clean.

I think this will work until I can spend a whole weekend on a more permanent solution!
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