Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In Which I Start Another Crazy Garden Project

The white noise machine worked like a charm!  I was out within twenty minutes.  Clearly what works on more than 90% of crying babies also works on me. 

Today was yet another gorgeous day in the run of gorgeous days we've been having; looks like spring finally decided to go ahead and show up.  It's about time!  I took advantage of the weather and spent the time Connor was in school prepping for and getting started on my latest project out in the garden: our paver patio.  This will be a 15'x15' area that will attach to the main ramp and stairway coming off the deck into our backyard.  I'm going to take a chance and try out a brand new product that I think might work really, really well for both Jeremy and Ellen's legs and Connor's wheelchair: recycled rubber pavers. 

I'm really, really excited about these-- I'd looked into the possibility of using rubber surfacing before, but this is the first product I've seen that lends itself to a DIY project.  They mimic the look of terracotta tile, but they should give us the same sort of forgiving, wheelchair-friendly surface they use in inclusive playgrounds like our beloved Bradley Lake Park. 

They're a little bit pricey, but there are a couple of mitigating factors that bring them down to my budget.  I don't have to buy as much gravel or sand as I would with typical pavers, we're using the fill dirt elsewhere in the garden for another project, and I'm doing all the work myself.  So in the end they should work out to about the same price as regular cement pavers would be to install if we had to pay someone to haul the dirt away (which we would, if we were excavating seven inches down instead of four since there's a limit to the number of hills I can make in my yard without screwing up the grade and ruining my foundation) and had to buy a lot more sand and gravel.  Also having a surface that the whole family can enjoy without trouble will go a long, long way towards justifying the cost.

It will probably take me most of the summer to excavate the area since I'm doing it by hand, so this will be another one of those slow projects like our deck.  Hopefully in a year or two, though, we'll have a great looking patio!


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