A while back I mentioned that we met with a landscape designer to create a plan to add dimension to our front yard. Our yard flat to us and we weren't sure exactly how much or little to do. Front yards can easily have too much going on and I tend to choose the "less is more" approach. This was the best picture I could find of our front yard and it really didn't look quite like this when we started this project. The door is now black. The trees are gone. The shutters have been replaced with ones that are the right scale.
In our meeting we came up with a plan to deepen the foundation beds and extend them on each end. We love green and white gardens and wanted to add in more texture and white. I'll share all of this in a post next week. For now I want to talk about the sidewalk.
It's hard to see it, but there is a slate footpath that runs from the main sidewalk over to the driveway. It's been this way since we moved in 20 years and it is how we enter our house. We tossed around several ideas. One was to edge a pathway with cobblestone and fill it in with pea gravel. I had visions of gravel in the house and tossed around the yard over time - so scratch that! We finally decided to go with a cobblestone sidewalk.
Thankfully, we have a friend who is a rock star in the world of cobblestone who helped us make final selections for our new sidewalk. We chose Countryside Allegheny antique by Oldcastle and could not be happier!
We searched online for how-tos on laying sidewalks, but ultimately decided just to jump in and start.
Supplies we used:
and pavers of course
The first thing I did was dig each side of the path with an edging shovel to create the lines we were working with. Then Mr. dug and dug and dug until the path was flat enough to lay the pavers. It was helpful to tie a string to two stakes and place one at the beginning and end of the sidewalk to correct any major highs/lows.
Next we added a layer of paver base (the gray stuff), then a layer of paver sand (the lighter stuff). Mr. would use the tamper to pack the base as I installed the path.
My goal was two fold. I wanted to make sure the new sidewalk was flush with the existing sidewalk and driveway (to avoid stubbed toes) and I wanted the cobbles to "square up" at each transition rather than having those awkward wedge pieces.
The teenager even got in on the action! You can also see the edging guards running down the side. They are added (and secured with a spike) once the pavers are in place. This locks everything in and won't be seen once the grass grows and the pine straw is back in place.
Next is when the magic happens. The polymeric sand! This stuff is amazing ya'll! Once the pavers were installed and the edging was locked in, we poured this sand on and began sweeping it into the cracks.
We used a smaller hand broom for detail work. Two bags of sand was exactly enough, but we were a little worried that we wouldn't have enough.
Once the sand was spread we locked it in place by watering the path. The sand acts as a holding agent once wet.
Stay tuned for the whole front yard sha-bang next week.