Creating Our Stone Patio

Our front yard is slowly… but surely taking shape.

Before:

Exterior of House

During: A few weeks ago we dug up the shrubs and shaped the flower bed. Next, Michael Luke created a border for the flower bed with stone and relocated our flowers. And now for the back breaking fun part… laying the stone for our patio!

To start with ML leveled as best as he could the little plot of dirt for the patio. We did leave a little slope to help with water drainage. The last thing you want is a bunch of water collecting next to your house.
front-yard-stone-patioThese pictures really give you an idea for the size and shape of our future patio.
front-yard-stone-patioA small walk way will lead from the main sidewalk to the sitting area. The plan is for two adirondack chairs to sit in the area next to the house and two smaller adirondack chairs in the little area to the right. Like we had pictured here with our two chairs from the back yard.

After the dirt was leveled ML spread a thin layer of rock over the area.  We already had the rock on hand so this step was free.  The rocks work as a leveler.  The stones are varying thickness and would have been really wobbly if just laid on top of the dirt.  ML was able to use the rock to adjust as needed to the type of stone laid on top.

20130812-143254.jpgIf it sounds complicated it’s not.  Basically he just placed the stone on top of the rock and wiggled it around until it became level.  Fairly easy except for he had to do this for every stone so it did become a little time consuming.

20130812-143306.jpgWe chose to make the crevices between our stone fairly small.  The distance is entirely up to you.  Michael Luke worked with the area like it was a puzzle.  Laying pieces next to each other, trying to find the best fit for each one.  The perfect task for someone with OCD tendencies.  We also left about a two to three inch rock border around the entire patio.  It helps to visually separate the stone patio from the stone flower bed border.

20130812-143318.jpg 20130812-143329.jpgHe built up a gradual slope where the walkway meets the sidewalk.  We debated wether to leave it as a step down or raise it up.  I am really glad we chose to make the transition smooth.
20130812-143340.jpg Next, he spread two bags of top soil in between the crevices.   He emptied the soil out and then swept the patio spreading the dirt into the crevices.  Next, he tamped the dirt lightly to help pack it in.  Thankfully, as soon as he finished spreading the dirt we got a good summer rain that helped pack the dirt in really good. 20130812-143350.jpg 20130812-143405.jpg Finally, we go the fun part!  Planting our ground cover.20130812-143416.jpgWe chose Creeping Thyme which is a ground cover that can withstand moderate foot traffic.  We were back and forth on what type of ground cover to use. There are lots of options and we had it narrowed down to a sedum, miniature mondo grass, or the creeping thyme.

In the end we chose the creeping thyme because it is an evergreen, doesn’t grow very tall, and has a light lemon scent to it.   We bought an entire flat for $50, divided each plant in half, and spread them out so they have room to grow.  The creeping thyme is called a toe tickler and I just love that.  I look forward to walking on it barefoot and letting it tickle my toes!
20130812-143520.jpgI think it looks beautiful!  The thyme really softens the look of the patio and adds some beautiful color.  During the early summer it will be covered in small yellow blooms.  Michael Luke did a wonderful job and he is so happy that all the hard labor is over.  He put a lot of time and thyme into this garden but we will definitely enjoy it.

Doesn’t it look inviting?
20130812-143455.jpg 20130812-143443.jpg 20130812-143508.jpgOur little front flower bed has come a long way!  I can’t wait to see it with the adirondack chairs and some colorful planters with flowers in them.  Hopefully, we can get all that set up soon so I can share those pictures with you.

Have you ever used creeping thyme before?  Or a ground cover in a walk way?  Do you have a summer project that is coming to a close?  Or maybe you just want your toes tickled?

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6 thoughts on “Creating Our Stone Patio

  1. ValenzMom a/k/a Helen

    I must say that your front patio looks beautiful! All Michael Luke’s hard work has really paid off. Now I think you need a little something in that area below your window – like a pretty piece of iron scrollwork or a large initial with your house number.

    Reply
    1. Krystle Post author

      Thanks, Helen! I thought about putting something there too but I really think it will be covered up by the adirondack chairs. I would like to add some taller colorful pots to the area though.

      Reply
    1. Krystle Post author

      Thanks, Kelly! Hopefully, this will make up for the fact that we don’t have a front porch at our house. I am looking forward to spending some late afternoons out there just relaxing.

      Reply
  2. Maria@TheBrooklynFig

    I’m searching for the word that comes to mind when viewing your finished product and the only one I’m grasping is authentic…just so true to nature with the thyme and soil between the rocks. Great job!
    Maria@TheBrooklynFig recently posted…Window TreatmentsMy Profile

    Reply
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