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In this recently finished project we used Belgard Eco-Dublin pavers to transform a small back lawn into a more usable space and inviting space. To create more of a courtyard feel we camouflaged the wooden fence with plants. We planted Star jasmine vines on the north fence and a row of crape myrtles along the south fence. We added trellising behind the existing pyracantha on the garage wall.

We had to first decide how large the patio would need to be; this serviceability is very important both in the design as well as the functionality. We made sure to understand how the clients would like to use the space (walking to and from the garage, outdoor dining, space for the dog to run) before we broke ground. Once the design/parameters were understood we commenced with the on-site preparation.

Before shoot.

The client had a serviceable back path, but it did not line up with steps and there was an uncomfortable step into/out-of the garage

We had to demolish and remove this brick path, strip off the sod and move this grey gravel out of our work area. Fortunately the gravel found another life filling elsewhere on the property. The soil became fill-dirt and the grass went off to become compost.

Moving drain line so we can plant a privacy screen using Crape myrtles.

Moving the existing drain line so we can plant a privacy screen using Crape myrtles.

Below-ground conditions had to be changed at several turns. This drain line ran straight through the bed where we wanted to plant several trees. Fortunately it was no surprise as we saw the builder install it. A slight shift over and we had plenty of room. Once we dug down sufficiently in our patio site we were ready to bring in our base material.

Base of decomposed granite also know as DG

Base of decomposed granite also know as DG. We utilized this as the base layer under our permeable patio.

You will notice that we pile up the base roughly in the space it will go. We have already excavated and created a rough-grade for the patio at this point (which, for this project, was flat). We will then rake the DG to its desired height/pitch (again, flat on this project because the patio is permeable)

Plate compactor

Plate compactor to compact the base layer. Notice the white drain line sticking up.

The base material is compacted to help reduce settling and shifting. The drain line was reinforced with this pipe to keep the below-ground fitting from becoming distorted (it can be challenging to later try to put a round pipe into a formerly-round hole).

Mortaring in soldiers

Mortaring in soldiers

I reinforce the edge of my paver patios by mortaring the outermost stones. These secured soldiers stop the patio from shifting horizontally (gravity keeps it from shifting vertically). I have seen the soldiers also secured with the use of edging material (such as steel edging) but I have more confidence with mortared stones, though they take longer to prepare and install.

Circle detail for fountain bed.

Circle detail for fountain bed.

The design called for a fountain and our designer thought a round detail would be appropriate. When bringing the field pavers in towards an edge we use as many whole pieces as we are able. After they are all set we measure and cut the filler stones.

water permeable patio

water permeable patio, notice the pipe that was sticking out of the ground was cut flush with the patio and the grating was installed.

The finished results are a nice open space to move around in or gather with friends.

Muskogee Crape myrtle privacy screen.

Muskogee Crape myrtle privacy screen under-planted with dwarf mondo grass.

As these Muskogee Crape myrtles grow taller they will add more shade from the southern sun on part of the patio.

Fountain bed complete.

A nice focal point that can be seen from the back porch.

A beautiful fountain the owners picked out from Statue Makers one of our favorite fountain shops.  The sound of running water will be soothing especially on a warm summer evening.

Today’s post, like most Monday landscaping installation posts, is a collaboration between myself and my husband and business partner Shawn Michael.