This week’s progress involved some heavy lifting! I used different landscaping rocks, like dry stack stone and pea gravel, to create a garden bed and patio.
Welcome back for Week Three of my backyard makeover series! After finishing the garden clean up, it was time to create some structure in this blah corner using landscaping rocks. I’m using dry stack stone for the retaining wall, concrete pavers for the edging, and pea gravel for the patio. After all that heavy lifting, I need a nap! 😉
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It’s getting down to the wire, and I’m frantically trying to get everything done in time for the big reveal next week. Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers (Wendi from H2OBungalow, Serena from Thrift Diving and Gail from My Repurposed Life) to see how their outdoor overhauls are coming along!
Remember my plans from the first week of the project? Let’s see how far I’ve gotten! Check out the video below first, then get the details below.
Dry Stack Stone Retaining Wall
This corner of the garden has been washed away from years of Seattle rain, leaving the roots of the Magnolia tree exposed. The tree loses a lot of leaves in the summer because the roots dry out and can’t reach the moisture they need.
To hold back the soil, I planned to put together a short retaining wall out of dry stack stone along the concrete walkway.
It took a few tries to figure out how to get the landscaping rock to gradually taper down to the ground near the new patio location. But finally, I had a wall!
I backfilled the garden bed behind the wall with fifteen bags of soil, and was relieved to see that nothing washed through when it rained.
dIG oUT pATIO aREA
Digging out the new patio area was definitely the most labor intensive part of this entire project! There wasn’t a defined border between the lawn and the garden bed, so I used spray paint to mark the curve where the new patio will go.
Then I used a straight edged shovel to dig out the grass along that line. It instantly looked a million times better!
I needed to remove 3″ of depth from the entire patio area to be filled with gravel later. To make the job easier, I tilled the soil first with the Ryobi 11″ electric cultivator. This loosened everything up, so I was just moving the dirt rather than digging it up.
I wheeled away about eight cartloads of excavated dirt to the other side of the garden (maybe I shouldn’t have bought all those bags of garden soil after all!) After tamping down the ground, you could finally start to see the patio taking shape!
Install Landscaping Pavers
To prevent all those little rocks from getting into the grass and messing up the electric lawnmower, I decided to install a paver border around the patio. You can find out more about how to make a pea gravel patio here.
To separate the garden bed from the patio, I used interlocking concrete blocks to create another retaining wall. They fit perfectly next to the paver border without having to chip away any concrete! Now that I know how easy it was to install this wall, I wish I had used them for the earlier one!
Fill the Pea Gravel Patio
I had a cubic yard of pea gravel delivered from the same company that we order our mulch from. They were able to bring both in the same truck and dumped it in the driveway.
After carting countless loads of gravel from the driveway to the backyard, the patio was filled in!
It doesn’t look huge, but we wanted this to be a cozy seating area that didn’t overwhelm the backyard. It’s just big enough for three benches and a propane fire pit. You’ll have to wait until the final reveal next week to see how it all looks! 😉
Other Completed Tasks
The other task on my to-do list this week was to repair the aluminum siding where the old electric meter once was and paint the conduit. It was my first (and hopefully only!) time doing siding, so the patch isn’t the greatest. But it’s watertight and will be hidden behind a giant planter wall soon!
Outdoor Overhaul 2.0 Contest
Don’t forget that you can get in on the action and enter to win some fantastic Ryobi outdoor tools too! Monday morning, just repost the Outdoor Overhaul 2.0 #HangOutChallenge photo from my Instagram page to your own with the appropriate tags for your entry into the weekly giveaway.
Better yet, share a before and after of your own outdoor overhaul for a chance to win $500 in Ryobi landscaping tools! You can find all the rules below.
Get a reminder delivered to your inbox every week! Just subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll make sure you don’t miss an entry!
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RYOBI SWEEPSTAKES CONDITIONS
IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 2019 OUTDOOR OVERHAUL 2.0 HANGOUT CHALLENGE SWEEPSTAKES, YOU MUST BE 18 OR OLDER AND LIVE IN THE U.S. A BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURE OF YOUR OUTDOOR MAKEOVER MUST BE SUBMITTED TO INSTAGRAM BEFORE FRIDAY 5/3 AT 12:00AM, AND MUST TAG THE APPROPRIATE HANDLES. @ryobitoolsusa @thriftdiving @h2obungalow @myrepurposedlife @the.handymans.daughter #RYOBIOutdoorOverhaul #hangoutchallenge
Link to Official Sweepstakes Rules (GRAND PRIZE)
IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 2019 OUTDOOR OVERHAUL 2.0 WEEKLY GIVEAWAY SWEEPSTAKES, YOU MUST BE 18 OR OLDER AND LIVE IN THE U.S. WHEN SHARING YOUR POST TO WIN YOU MUST TAG @ryobitoolsusa @thriftdiving @h2obungalow @myrepurposedlife @the.handymans.daughter #RYOBIOutdoorOverhaul #hangoutchallenge
Link to Weekly Giveaway Rules (Tool Giveaways)