Monday, June 25, 2012

Sometimes jealousy IS a pretty thing

It should come as no surprise that, after the success of The Dry Creek Bed project, Mulch Boy would become jealous of my 5.5 tons of rocks and want his own. And so it was that he decided to build his very own patio with his very own rocks.

You may recall this spot in front of our back porch. Here is where MB had his smoker and big bin of charcoal, resting on a little platform of concrete blocks that we found randomly scattered in the back yard when we moved in.

Shown pre-dry creek bed for extra before-and-after impact.

Mulch Boy's scheme: to convert this weedy little corner into an attractive patio for the smoker and for sittin' around. Organized fellow that he is, MB actually measured the space and then marked it with posts and string. I KNOW! Then, he dug between the lines a hole, a big 6'x10'x6" hole with a flat bottom and sides. It was a thing to behold.

It begins.
It's so precise!
Almost there...

Next step: gravel. We started with four bags. Four bags looks like this.

Almost enough!

You'd think after the dry creek bed, we'd know better, wouldn't you? Two additional trips to Sisler's stone yard later, we ultimately used 28 bags of gravel to fill in the patio-shaped hole. After that, eight bags of stone dust (recommended to us instead of sand because it's heavier and stays put better). Weigh all that, and you've got another ton of rocks and rock-related product. That's 6.5 tons for the year!

Now comes the gap in the photo record, because on Sunday we went from spreading the gravel to spreading the stone dust to laying the flagstones all in one go, over the course of a couple of hours. It's that last step that was the hardest: laying the stones in the dust and trying to get them all even and level with each other. There was a lot of tweaking done to get it just right.

And eventually it WAS just right. Behold! Well done, Mulch Boy!

Larger view, showing the grand scheme of things.
Come set a spell!


  1. It looks great! I recently used way too much sand for a project and now the top step of my patio is a bit beachy. :o)

  2. Mariposa, there is nothing wrong with a little beach in your backyard! (Although if you've been suffering through the same weather we have, it's less beachy and more Death Valley these days.)

  3. @Mariposa, I just checked your blog out for the first time and you ARE a neighbor! I love finding DC-area blogs and am really enjoying checking out your archives. VERY jealous of your photography skills and frog.