Life on the creative side

A Lovely Gravel Patio

Ok friends here’s another project update…

But first a little background:
butterflies in the gardenA few years ago the beautiful garden between Blue Antler Studio and the cabin was in decline.  It started with the lovely elm tree which was unfortunately lost to the blight that swept through our area. Then after a late hard freeze, many of our pollinators suffered; dropping the number of butterflies frequenting the garden from dozens at a time to a handful ; and of course the native honeybee had already been struggling for several years. Then we opened up the kitchen wall and built the new deck which encroached further into the weakened garden. We soon realized it would make more sense to move the garden altogether and utilize the space between the two structures as an outdoor living area.

We got started by digging up the remaining plants in the garden.

transplanting flowers from my garden

We replanted them along the path that would lead to the new patio.

path to the patio

Then we graded off the area, taking it down to the same elevation of the studio before adding several inches of gravel.

grading ground for patio

After compacting the gravel we added a low retaining wall around the upper side of the patio, curving it to create a cozy circular seating area.

curve of patio wall

The next step was to build the fire pit in front of the seating area. With the help of my, can-do-it-all, brother and my, I’m stronger-than-I-look, daughter we took an old metal fire ring and some incredible rocks (remnants of an old barn foundation that once stood on my childhood farm) and we created this amazing fire pit.

my amazing fire pit builders

looking down on my patio and fire pit

first fire in fire pit

For the final touch, my sisters helped me gather up interesting containers to repurpose  into unique patio planters; filled with Joe pye, sedum, mums, geraniums, saliva, sweet potatoes and other various vines they now grace my new outdoor space.  (Useful tip – first we partially filled the containers with empty plastic bottles, caps on, to help fill the voluminous space).

A leaky metal garbage can, filled with blooms, adds interest to the studio entrance.

re-purposed garbage can as planter

An overflowing, rusty-red wheelbarrow adds balance flanking the other side of the door.

rusty red wheelbarrow planter

Old metal tubs and buckets and…

sedum and succulents planted in old metal tubs

some broken wooden crates scattered  around the patio, provide pops of whimsy and color.

geranium planted in old wooden crate

Finally, the result of all our efforts  is this lovely patio!

my new patio

my gravel patio

Stay tuned for phase two – it will involve a rustic arbor and this beautiful, live-cut, pine-slab for alfresco dinning.

live edge pine slab for patio table Hubby sure needs his workshop finished!

One Response

  1. Kate

    The pictures look great!

    August 24, 2012 at 2:09 am

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