Any house or garden projects happening for you? The global pandemic has compelled Fox and me to tackle some necessary-for-us upgrades. As you might recall, last summer we purchased an upright freezer. We also installed a whole-house generator. And today as I write this, we are increasing the size of our patio and installing a pergola there. You see, the pandemic has taught us the importance of comfortable outdoor dining. Details and pictures of this work-in-progress:
The patio is located between the rear of the house and the front of the old North Wing. The North Wing is the original structure on this property, built circa 1795. We never used the patio. The blue stone flooring there was not properly seated when installed by previous owners. It was sunken in some places and pitched in others. It was not suitable for entertaining.
More inviting is the Herb Garden (click here for details) that I designed between the North and West Wings of the house. The garden is very small. The table there is fine for two people, or maybe four, but certainly not six. Because of the global pandemic, a large, comfortable outdoor dining place has become a priority for us.
And the best location for said dining area? The never-used patio! We decided to extend and enlarge the patio at its farthest end. This way, we could install a 10×14-foot pergola as a “roof” for a long table and six chairs.
The crew arrived Friday morning, and immediately got to work. In pouring rain. I was impressed by the brave soul who maneuvered a backhoe down a very steep hill.
To start, the crew pried up enormous slabs of bluestone.
Then they carved out the area where the table and chairs will go…
And dug a trench and dry well to re-direct water from a nearby downspout. Pipes (not pictured) send the water to the boxwood garden.
Four support posts were inserted for the pergola’s frame…
And then the whole area was backfilled with gravel…
Plus landscaping fabric and fine pea gravel.
Nine hours later, the crew called it a day.
You know the old saying “One job leads to another?” The next morning, I realized that the remaining, jigsaw puzzle-like blue stone looked just…awful. When the crew arrived at 8AM, we asked them to re-do that part of the patio, too.
What a job! The crew pried up each hefty slab by hand. I would have helped, but I was afraid I’d spill my martini.
The talented team leveled, graveled, fabric-ed, and pea-graveled until the old area matched the new.
Then the old blue stone slabs– the best among them, anyway — were painstakingly set in place and carefully leveled. A level platform is important when you wish to arrange a table and chairs.
I look forward to showing you the finished patio and pergola. I also look forward to serving you Afternoon Tea with cream scones and finger sandwiches beneath the pergola. Meanwhile, back to my original question: What house or garden jobs do you hope to accomplish now or in the near future? Please talk to me in the comments field below. xKevin
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