Rather than use PT wood for the stop, use "brick edging" or "paver edging"
(see: http://paragonpavers.tripod.com/patiobasics.htm )
The edging is spiked into the ground to prevent shifting. The problem with
pavers over concrete (at least in colder climates with freeze/thaw heaving)
is that the concrete pad needs to have expansion joints and the slab
sections may heave unequally resulting in a sizable "lip" from one paver to
the next (not to mention the "rocking" of all the pavers that cover the
joints). Pavers are great with ground movement because, while 5 years from
not the patio may not be flat but more "bowed", it's still usable and
generally looks nicer than a split & heaved concrete patio. Now, all that
being said, proper ground/sub-base prep can eliminate most (but not all)
How about just leave the soil/where the patio is to be as-is, and hunt
around and collect some naturally-flat stones and lay them down like a
mosaic, leaving some grass to grow in-between? If they heave from
frost, etc., maybe it'll just add character.
One other thing that I know of works - if the patio is lower than a
surrounding flower bed, and edged with something larger andheavier, such as
the concrete pavers taht IIRC are about 10" long and 6" wide. I did that
in a smal yard which had very sandy soil, plus sloped slightly into a
gravel area (did the gravel for setting up the charcoal grill).
I did about five patios in brick when I moved to the latest place. They
are all on different levels. The highest level is a raised planting bed
with a pretty rough starting rock then gravel base then a built up wall,
then dirt fill. There is actually a certain amount of terracing
involved, but it had served well for planting rather large things like
butterfly bushes and Rose of Sharon and Mock Orange and False Quince and
various berry bushes and etc. In front before transitioning to plain
ole brick patio, I put in a couple feet garden with a single brick
border, which also provide a place for about half the long length of
this affair to have a place where the upper container garden can drain
into lower dirt (chucked some PVC pieces into the gravel at the base of
the upper bed. Everythings really mostly on one level, it just looks
like three levels.
THat sounds really nice - any pics? Butterfly Bush and Mock Orange are
great for the scent - I like to try to plan for that, as well as for otehr
types of all season interest. THe terracing sounds very nice as well. I'd
like to se pics, if you have any on-line.
Cool :) I bet you all get a lot of enjoyment out of that.
Did you plan the landscaping yourself, or did you hire a landscpae
designer? Just curious.
Certain seasons, yes. I have been very lucky with dogwoods while
neighbors have been losing theirs (mine are wild, there's aren't),
unlucky with pin oaks. Drought is taking it's toll around herewith some
trees like maples, elms on their last leg with Dutch Elm disease, and so
on, gone to high, growing too shallow.
a landscape designer/architect did the initial design with major
earthmoving execution and planting by my #2 and #3 sons... Brickwork ws
done by a VA firm that does traditional brickwork, various tree people
removed 17 weed trees, some of which became free mulch, trimmed (a few
times) the 200yr +oak, and cut down a few giant problems, I got a bunch
of free 2x2 bluestone pavers left over from a job by a guy who gave me
too high an estimate but asked me if I wanted them... I went in the
woods for moss, ferns, and vinca minor (periwinkles), started a row of
Bulgarian/Macedonian geraniums (zdravets) from five initial plants I got
from a priest at a former Bulgarian church. Pulled ivy off one side of
the house and removed from one hill and replaced it with vinca and a
strange rock garden.
The hard part is planning for the unusual conditions. If things are
going to be more dry than in th epast, that's something you can plan for,
but it's difficult when you have a generally moist area that's subject to
drought every, say, 20 years or so - the only things one can pretty much
count on is natives, and even there, every plant has to cope with a
combination of climate and location/micro-climate.
THen, of course, there is the problem of availability - it can sometimes
be very challenging to get hold of something that is technically fairly
common, yet almost never available in nurseries...
I didn't plant dogwood because the conditions locally are just too
difficult. Even when I planted my redbud, I planted a variety (or maybe
it's a subspecies?), sometimes called 'Oklahoma', sometimes called
'texensis', because ti is more heat-resistent than the average *Cercis
canadensis*. (It also gets white flowers, since it's located in what I
hope to develop into the "white garden" if we live here long enough, but
I guess that's neither here nor there...))
Pomegrant is interesting - they need to be pruned, but so do most things.
I have a 'nana" (miniature), and the flowers are a truely outstanding
red-orange color, and contrast well with the bright green of the leaves.
But I can go on about plants for far *far* too long... Sometimes I think
I really did miss my calling ;)
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