the summer of gravel

the summer of gravel

Remember the giant pile of gravel? Well, it’s gone! Finally! I worked all spring and summer on this side-yard project, with next to no budget. Besides the deck, everything was done with our own hands. And backs. And a broken pinky (wheel barrow incident). The bricks were all reused. The materials we purchased were the most inexpensive out there: chat gravel and cement paving stones. Now we have a safe pathway that doesn’t look like an abandoned alley.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane. Here is the side yard last year with its rotted deck. It was so ugly over there, the dog felt no shame about taking a dump right in the frame (somehow I did not notice this until now).

Then we had a new deck put in, which immediately made everything around it look worse.

We had a cement step at the bottom of our old deck. I wanted to use it, partly because we needed some terracing, partly because there was no way that thing was moving more than a few feet. But it needed to be moved to the side a bit, or it was just sitting in the middle of the pathway, potentially leading the less graceful of us to injury. I somehow managed to move it myself with a shovel and a tarp. And my super woman muscles.

This area turned into a playground for the summer — lots of digging and dirt play. The girls are mad I covered it up with gravel.

Drumroll …

I’ll add some mulch and plants to the empty beds in the spring. We also added a path through a different bed in the back (the kids had already trampled one anyway).

I’m so glad this is finished. That was a lot of work!

About ameliastudio

I’m Amy Harding, mother to three little girls. I was an editor for 10 years, and now I stay home with the kids, while also going back to school for graphic design and making/selling pots. Things and people I love: family, ceramics, coffee, “Mad Men,” Louis C.K., sewing, tiki drinks and classic cocktails, gardening, Lucie Rie, Eva Zeisel, the beach, mid-century modernism, the fantastic work of my Mr. H., Bill Murray, Iron & Wine, R.E.M., graphic patterns, peacock blue, peanut butter, architecture, Jonathan Franzen, Don DeLillo, A.S. Byatt, David Sedaris, magazines, design, Wes Anderson, books, salt+sweet …

8 Responses »

  1. Oh wow, that looks awesome! You should be proud!! You make me want to get out in my yard, pronto. My backyard is so plain and boring. It’s a blank canvas in need of some oomph.

  2. Great work! I love the clean, organic lines of your newly revamped space! Have you treated your wood yet?

    My husband and I learned this summer that boiled linseed oil (found at Home Depot) is amazing for outdoor wood. We used it on our fence to protect it from sun and water. It was easy to apply and made the wood look so beautiful! Apparently (learned from my dad) that blonde wood needs a drink of boiled linseed oil every other year to last for a long time. I’m not sure if that’d work in your climate, but it has worked in the extreme climates we have here in Utah.

    • Thanks, Melissa! No, we haven’t treated the wood yet. I wonder if linseed would be a better thing for me to apply myself. My husband uses this stain/seal combo on our other decks, and the smell gives me migraines. Well, most smells give me migraines, but especially the deck stain!

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