Pea Gravel Patio – Unfinished Business

Well folks, the CC has spoken.  There will not be a project stucco session this weekend, or the foreseeable future. (GASP!)  That ugly unfinished wall doesn’t eat at him like it does me, so it seems we are back to shoveling.  You must know how thrilled and excited I am at this logical decision.  ANOTHER unfinished project at the Regal Beagle. $#@!*%!!!!!  Un. Freaking. Believable!!!!

Actually, it’s incredibly believable, but I just had to vent.

So, where does that leave us?  Let’s have a little refresher on where we started, shall we?

BTW, all that effort spent transplanting that dogwood to the front FAILED.  It drowned during the Saturation.

What a mess that was.

So now…..

What the hell is that orange tower by the front door?!  Oh, that’s just a remnant of the rearranging frenzy.  It’s a CB2 totem pole of stools looking for the right home out here.

If I was a fancy design blogger I’d photoshop that hose out, but you got me, so enjoy!

My least favorite table functioned the best in the sitting area, so I’m thinking I’ll jazz it up with a stone top, like so…..

I’ve been wanting to incorporate an onyx slab around here somewhere and the table is small enough I might actually be able to afford it so, it might happen!  Paint the table base and then I’ll have both an attractive AND functional table.

Remember my Costco Maples?  We had planned to plant black bamboo here, but I’m concerned there’s not enough sunlight, so before I smack down $300 on bamboo, let’s try this first.

It may not be perfect, but we’ve come a long way, and the Things really like this set up, so I’m going with it…for now.

Oh, and I need MORE PLANTS!!!!  It’s the flea today, so I’m off to see what living and inanimate treasures I can find.  Back soon with the Friday Flea.

UPDATE:  Fab reader Lisa of Life Illustrated decided to take pity on this girl….Look how nice…no hose!!

Now if only we could photoshop in that stucco..for REAL!!!!  Thanks Lisa!!


So operation stucco will commence (perhaps) at the weekend…in the meantime, the patio shoveling is basically complete.  After things settle, there might be some touch up, but for now…done.

The sad thing is… now that I can have some fun and get the furniture in, I’m not feelin’ it.  I’ve dragged most of the available furniture up here and dragged it back down.

I want the butterflies to live here, and since we are a family of four, we really need at least 4 seats up here.  I haven’t found more vintage flies yet.  Everything else is variable.  I thought I’d move the red chairs to the back and just have the loveseat and the flies… I dunno.  I’ll keep rearranging….

The Things and I sat out here at sunset under the tree and read.  For once, the outside temp was cool enough to truly enjoy.  I think this new lounging area will be heaven for us once tweaked and finished.

Let’s play musical side tables, shall we?

Can you say Christmas? Blech.  Back to the drawing board…

Oh, and in case you were worried about what we would do for exercise now that the patio gravel is down….

Yeah.  That’s the rest of it, slated for other areas that interest me very little at the moment, but we need the parking spot back…so it must resume.  $#!@.

Project Pea…Continued

We’ve had a lot of rain (again) which makes the horsetail and other plants happy.  It makes me wet.

Horsetail is easily blown over by those high winds……

I’m hauling the peas every morning after the Things are off to school so I can avoid working in the triple digit weather with 100% humidity.  If it drizzles, I work, if it pours, I wait until it stops.  I try to take several breaks anyway.  When I start, I can fill the buckets 3/4 of the way..after about 10 trips, the volume starts creeping down and I know it’s time to knock off for awhile.

So how far have I gotten?

I’ve gotten one layer down now.  Problem is..we need about 3 more in order to hide the exposed areas where the “stucco” ends…like here…..

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Perhaps we should stucco further down the wall on this side!  Ya THINK!?!

The guy we used to build all this in the fall was scheduled to come back and do some “touch-up” on the stucco this spring, but he never showed.  We didn’t chase him since we figured the touch up wasn’t really totally necessary at the time and we were all square with him financially.

If we had all the stuff, it would be a no brainer DIY.  This has it’s own set of issues since I don’t know if we can replicate the “formula” for the color to match.  If I  go through my receipts, I can find the brand etc he used and try?  If I remember correctly, he used 2 bags of black to one bag of brown…but I’m not sure.  I should just call him and just say..”Hey, how have ya been?  Gimme the recipe!”

I dunno, in the meantime, I need to haul a bit more (ARGH!) to cover some thin areas, then the CC and I need to sit down and discuss this other, much less exhausting option.

Pea Gravel Patio

Well, it’s only been about 9 months since the walls were built…we are finally finishing the top patio in the front.  In our feeble defense, it’s just been lower on the list since we wanted to spend spring and summer filling the new beds and getting stuff planted.

It was tough to decide which gravel to use.  Since we needed massive amounts, the budget needed to be less than $50/yard.  That pretty much left us with limestone or pea gravel.  The granite chips were 3 times that so…no dice.  We can’t use decomposed stone fines (my 1st choice) because they set up too hard and the water will run off away from the tree …we need the water to drain down so that it gets at its roots.

I’ve used limestone before for gravel patios and it worked great, but I wanted to explore something softer and easier on the feet. I’ve always hated pea gravel…it felt very dated and ugly to me, but I found a few nice gardens that changed my mind.

This patio used pea gravel in between the hardscape…

Photo via Studio G

… and this post showed a nice pea gravel patio

Photo via Rock Stock & Quade

Now we have a monster sized pile of pea gravel to put on top of the large limestone.  I started spreading it in the rain since it’s as cool as it’s ever going to be (only 87°!).  I discovered I can only fill the buckets half way or it hurts.  Up all the steps, dump and repeat.  2 buckets are best since it keeps me balanced instead of bending over a single full bucket.

Phew…gonna be a long week.  Problem is….I think I might hate the color….stay tuned for a hopeful improvement…maybe when it’s dry…maybe.