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Dirt+Rocks+Sweat = PATIO

One of my last big yard projects for the season is now off the to-do list! 30 bags of crushed gravel, 86 pavers, 12 bags + 2 wheelbarrows of rocks and a converted fire pit planter later, we now have an attractive rock garden/patio area next to the hot tub instead of a pile of muddy gook. Ok, to count the new patio area as done, I’m cheating and considering adding lattice with climbing flowers to cover up the hose & mechanical area as a separate project! So, ignoring that part…here’s some after pics:

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The rocks leading into the area were either painstakingly collected from around our yard (attacking ants be damned!) or were gathered during my cross country trips—aka, the pretty rocks.image

Used pea gravel in between the outer pavers and river rocks in the center. Underneath it all is crushed gravel. The center planter is an upcycled fire pit. Painted with hammered copper spray paint to pretty it up and drilled a few holes to prevent it from becoming a swampy mosquito incubator.

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The wicker chair has since become a fun aubergine. Will post updated pics AFTER I get the lattice over that mess of wires and hose. As you can see, we also need a longer whip (that big, ugly gray thing smack dab in the middle of the patio) for the hot tub so we can bury the line. The contractor who moved it for us unfortunately wasn’t super good at finishing up HIS to do list. But, still SO much better than where we started from, I can definitely live with this stage of progress for the time being.

We’ve come a long way from having one lonely hot tub platform on the hill surrounded by dirt, and it’s been fun watching the backyard slowly transform into a sanctuary bit by bit. Not be cliche, but feel like we appreciate it much more since our sweat (& the occasional blood and tears) are part of each improvement. 

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Patio in Progress

One of these days, I’ll remember to take before pictures. In this case, it would have shown an uneven pit of clay, dirt and rotting leaves languishing next to our hot tub. So picture that as the starting point. With the help of my very motivated MIL, we’ve taken some big steps towards my vision for that mud pit:

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This is post raking, covering with weed barrier and filling with 30 bags (150 cubic feet) of paver base. We went extra thick with it so it could also level the ground w/o the need for digging. As you can see, there’s some work to go—more pavers needed and then we’ll fill in between with pea gravel. The now firepit will receive a coat of hammered copper paint and find new life as a garden/focal point. The bar at the end will remain a bar, of course. :) Here’s a closer look:

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Looking forward to wrapping this up, as it’s my one big yard project for the season. Ok, that and the stone fire circle, but that’s already checked off the list: 

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It’s like we get to camp in our own backyard, except instead of crawling into a tent when we leave the fire, we curl up in pillow-top, king size goodness. With no bugs. 

And After (from bullets to bench)

I’m really happy with how the ammunition box upcycle went.  Here’s the final product:

To get the height, we measured where other deck chairs fell and made my son pretend sit on it as we held it just to be sure (that part wasn’t very scientific, but it was funny to watch).  After putting the legs on each side, we decided crossbars that connected the legs and cradled the box would add some extra support.  End result is a rustic look that I like, plus it serves double duty as storage and cost next to nothing:

  • Ammunition Box - $5 at yard sale
  • Spray Paint - $1 at ReStore (aka, best place on earth for scavengers)
  • Poly - $0 left by previous homeowner
  • Legs - $0 found wood as we cleaned the garage, prob from previous owner

So, under $10 for our new “custom” bench.  Plus, was nice bonding for the hubby & I.  The parts involving power tools were all him!  I’m the scavenger & idea person. :)  Ok, time to go test out the new bench.  Have to see if it can hold my weight along with a frosty Hoptober.  (Yikes, is it REALLY time for fall beers already???)

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