Let’s Get Started #3

It’s hot and the dust is flying! That’s right, construction has begun, I’m excited but Lois is noticing a fine layer of sediment accumulating on the window sills! The first thing to do is to demo the existing concrete, wood steps and wood benches and the old lawn. Next, the heavy equipment moves in to cut back the slope just outside the kitchen porch to make room for the new courtyard and stone retaining walls.

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Now, we can layout the stone walls that will define the new courtyard. I used single and double head size boulders with one 996 lbs boulder to add some conversational interest to the wall. I got the interlocking paving stones at South County Building Material in Gilroy, CA – they were on sale!

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Here, we’re laying out the textured concrete walk and steps that will lead up to the pond. I’m sculpting the concrete, something I learned years ago from Sergio, a real artist. It’s fun and a creative alternative to expensive stone paving or inexpensive but boring formed concrete. Once cured I’ll use an acrylic stain to highlight the texture and color the walk.

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OK, for my favorite part – the pond! This turned out to be a lot of work as this area of the yard had been compacted years ago. My brother and my son helped me dig out the pond with the aid of my trusty jackhammer! I used an Aquascape pond kit for this project and rocking it in and created the waterfall with double-head size Sonoma Field boulders and various sized pami-pebbles for the bottom.

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Irrigation, fine grading and rolling out the sod happened quickly – pretty important stuff but not very interesting. I let the pros handle the trenching and irrigation and I rolled out the lawn. It’s really starting to look like a yard now!

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The planting will come later as we find deals at the local nurseries. Once planted I’ll get back with some finished pics! Later.