Hey, guys, I realized I haven’t given you an update on what’s going on outside the house. It has been such a very slow process, and not much progress to show visually. One of our projects has been to create a river rock sidewalk to the front door. Richard has worked his hiney off hauling dirt and gravel to build up the sidewalk. Wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, and tamping it down by hand, as weather permitted over the winter.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, things will go a little faster. We still don’t plan on doing a lot of “formal” landscaping- mostly just cleaning up from the home build and getting the drainage correct so that the yard doesn’t become a muddy mess every time it rains. Remember our plywood “old western” style sidewalk?
Even without a lot of formal landscaping, the amount of yard work that needs to be done is overwhelming. There are still so many piles of dirt and timber and brush. I’m impatient and wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all pretty. I keep reminding myself that we’re making progress.
This is the end of the sidewalk starting from the driveway, in front of the garage. We planted a few camellias and rhododendrons between the house and the sidewalk. We’ll plant a few more, plus more shade loving plants as soon as we decide what we want.
Richard is using large rocks gathered from the property to surround drainage pipes that he had to route under the soon-to-be river rock sidewalk.
Now that Richard has gotten the sidewalk prep almost complete, we are getting to the fun part. We went back and forth over what we wanted for this walkway which goes from the driveway to the front door. The distance is about 100 feet. We discussed pavers, poured concrete, and stepping stones. We even contemplated making our own pavers. Cost and/ or time involved ruled out most of those options.
Poured concrete would have been the easy solution, but we just didn’t want such a finished look. We want the sidewalk to be part of the “natural” landscape, while also being practical.
After spending hours looking at options online, I came across several landscapes that had gravel or river rock sidewalks. I really loved the look and it is more cost effective than pavers or slate stepping stones. You can see some of my favorite landscape ideas on my Outdoor Inspiration pinterest board.
This weekend, we got a 500 pound load of river rock to test it out. That sounds like a lot, but it only covered about 5 feet of the sidewalk!
We chose Autumn Sunset river rock, which has so many pretty colors- tan, white, black, gray, red.
We need SIX TONS to finish the sidewalk! It will be delivered this Saturday. I can’t wait to get it finished. I haven’t been able to help much with the prep work, but I look forward to spreading the rock.
The color is Valspar Jazzy. I’m considering painting the shutters a lighter blue, but hesitating because I don’t really care for the traditional style of the shutters. They were one of those choices made in the frenzy of the moment.
My original plan was something mimicking the style of stone houses in the French countryside, with pretty blue doors and shutters. While I don’t have the stone siding, I would like to emulate the look of the doors and shutters. For a few of my favorite inspiration photos, head over to my shutters pinterest board. So, I am trying to decide if I want to change the shutters altogether, or just paint the ones we have.
We had quite a discussion going on about the shutters on facebook. Most like the shutters as is. Some changed their minds once they saw my inspiration photos. What do you think?