My summer o’ landscaping is off to to dubious start.
Aside from doing loads of weeding and mulching, my plan for the summer is to put in a side patio. Lowe’s had a great Memorial Day sale on pavers, so I ordered everything I needed to be delivered the following week. And then came the rain. I postponed delivery for a week thinking that SURELY this past weekend would be drier than last. Not the case, as it turns out. But I just couldn’t put it off any longer. This is how it went down.
Lowe’s arrived with pavers and sand (and a cart). 1,200 pavers and 30 bags of sand, to be precise. I have no driveway which meant they had to be left on the city sidewalk. Which meant I had to shift everything down my little hill as quickly as possibly. I’ll tell you right now, this was the absolute worst part of this project.
First to go was the sand. My path leading from the road down to my patio spot was too narrow and hilly to navigate my new fancy cart, but my neighbor was kind enough to let me go through her yard. As was the theme this weekend, the sand was saturated. So my 40 lb bags weighed over 50 pounds each. I felt every bit of those extra pounds and was pooped after I got them all shifted.
After a break, I started to move the pavers down using the cart one small load at a time – just enough to get a full course (35 pavers). I had just gotten the perpendicular courses down before it started to rain.
Day two started off nicely. The forecast wasn’t as ominous, but I didn’t want to push my luck and got back to work at 6am. I started by shifting more pavers down the hill, and drinking a lot of coffee.
I actually enjoyed laying the pavers. It’s a bit fiddly, but it isn’t laborious. And it’s such a reward to see it come together.
In order to combat a bit of a pitch, I’ve divided the patio into two tiers. The lower section (12′ x 12′) will be a sitting area. The upper section (9′ x 12′) is where I’ll build my kiln shed. At the end of day two, I’d installed just over 1/2 of the lower (larger) tier.
Then came the rain. Again.
I waited out the storm on my neighbor’s porch with her family. Her granddaughter’s boyfriend took pity on my and insisted that he help me move more of the pavers down the hill. My other neighbor’s drive was blocked by this time so I couldn’t use the cart. It was all by hand at this point. Between the two of us, we were able to move over 1/2 of the second pallet when the rains started up again. DONE! End of Day 2.
I woke up this morning before dawn to work on the last of the pallet. I can’t tell you how many trips I made, but I can only handle 8 bricks at a time, if that gives you an idea. After a few trips, I was ready to do anything just to get the pavers off the city sidewalk. I filled my cart to the rim, lined the side path, and left the few remaining bits in piles around the stoop. Stacking those last pavers and clearing the sidewalk was the most rewarding moment of the weekend, I assure you.
Even though I set only a fraction of pavers in place, I am relieved that the worst is behind me. It’s still raining, and there will be hit-and-miss showers around for the foreseeable future. But it’s all good. Those pavers aren’t going anywhere, and my stubby digits need a little time to heal.