Last week, I tried to tell the story of our new paths and patio. In truth, I got a little sidetracked. And then there’s the pesky issue of the snaps. For Pete’s sake: how do people get photos that do not include hoses, buckets, and tools dropped in their tracks? Not to mention photo-bombing by a wily pooch. Geeze Louise.

The upshot, our paths and bonus front patio are installed–bonus in that I meant to do it eventually, but then with the bargain-paver find, had enough to do it all.

Sad front lawn in the planning stage.
Sad front lawn in the planning stage.

I can attest to the fact that it is relatively easy when you hire trained professionals–well, if you don’t count the $$$. They were fast, efficient, and undaunted. That’s not how I approach a project. I’m more of a idea person. I love figuring our if or how something might work, but follow through is not a strong suit.

Viewed from the front porch.
Viewed from the front porch.

Side view from front walk way.  I haven’t decided what to put in the top little corner (with hose guard and Pumpkin stake,) but the rest of space between patio and pathway is newly planted with Sesleria autumnalis ‘Campo Verde’ aka Autumn Moor Grass.

Approaching from front walkway.
Approaching from front walkway.

I seem to be carried away with grasses, again. I plead guilty. And honestly, can you blame me? Look at those beauties. Plus I rest secure in the knowledge, plants can be moved–contrary to what I believed in the beginning.

The Mt. St. Helens' corner. All that blue sky, yet the mountain is shrouded in clouds.
The Mt. St. Helens’ corner. All that blue sky, yet the mountain is shrouded in clouds.

Look at all that new garden space. I plan to divide the Pennisetum macrourum (aka African Feather Grass) and share this year. My plants came from Scott Weber of Rhone Street Gardens. I’m looking forward to the day when we all have a little piece of one another’s gardens.

Looking back toward the front porch.
Looking back toward the front porch.

The top row goes all the way across the front of the house and turns the corner and heads south. (Like the bone that flew from that woman’s, nose, Kim D.)

Top row turns the corner and heads to infinity and beyond.
Top row turns the corner and heads to infinity and beyond.

Poor Farfugiums. I did water them after this shot. That north-facing bed doesn’t get a lick of water from nature because it’s under the eaves. Eaves are great for keeping the house and window in good shape, but poor plants. This bed needs auxiliary water year round–sometimes leading to split hoses and broken nozzles when I gamble wrong on weather.

We also built a pathway on the east-side of the house–which was part of the original plan. (The whole front patio was a bonus–because of the bargain price on pavers. Of course, that’s kind of like Costco, wherein each individual item is a nickel, but you have to buy a hundred at a time. And when you finally reach checkout, it’s $200–at least.)

East side paver pathway. The dog sign was here!
East side paver pathway. The dog sign was here!

Nothing like a sharp edge to define a bed. I need to step up my game around this corner and back to the fence. I’m going to pull the Iris and distribute around the yard, but I have way more than I can use–if anyone is interested.

East side paver pathway. Again, poor dry plants under the eaves.
East side paver pathway. Again, poor dry plants under the eaves.

When the Iris are in bloom, they look terrific. The rest of the time, not so much. The area gets morning sun, so imagine the possibilities.

Iris in bloom and a good before shot.
Iris in bloom and a good before shot.

I’m running out of space for plants that need shade, so isn’t this a terrific opportunity. I’d love to create a border like this fantastic bed at Xera Plants.

Shade bed at Xera Retail Nursery.
Shade bed at Xera Retail Nursery.

I haven’t decided what to do with the little strip to the opposite side of the pathway either. Amazing, the challenges one creates for oneself upon making improvements. My relatively new neighbors have cried Uncle: I can do whatever I want. I’m thinking maybe crushed granite across the whole area adjoining the path–including the neighbors’ grass. (Something I saw at an open garden. Ms. Danger Divine’s post about it. The first several photos show the front courtyard–and I’m pretty sure that’s crushed granite. And come to think of it, I mean’t to borrow more ideas from this incredible garden.)

And then there’s the back, where I intended to build a path, but struggled with design. I thought I’d make a straight shot across the back like we did on the sides. But it kept insisting on being an arc.

If they'd stopped right here, I'd have still been happy.
If they’d stopped right here, I’d have still been happy.

Even in first draft stage, I was sold. I LOVE it: the Arc de Pathway. And then it got better.

Proof of concept: check.
Proof of concept: check.

The stage (above) when you hope the dentist doesn’t keel over. I’d never be able to finish on my own.

Who knew Pumpkin would follow the Yellow Brick Road.
Who knew Pumpkin would follow the Yellow Brick Road.

Pumpkin did a quick test run.

No worries. They made it through the finish.
No worries. They made it through the finish.

And then added her stamp of approval: It’s mine, all mine.

Curved pathway it is. It knew what it was doing.
Curved pathway it is. It knew what it was doing.

I guess I should have know how terrific a bed looks with defined edges, but the transformation still surprised me. I love how it looks from our bedroom too. Please forgive the screen. I briefly considered removing it for the shot, then realized with the animals–it would devolve into a Jetpack Idea.

Loungers on loan from Cathi W. What a pal.
Loungers on loan from Cathi W. What a pal.

My pal Cathi has run out of outdoor space for furniture, so these loungers are on loan from her. Amazing too, how you’ll spend time in the garden when you’ve got a good space to hang out. Bill and I went out last weekend to share a glass of bubbly, and then we stayed for the whole bottle. It was great, talking and watching nature sans electronic devices.

Heck, we’ve so reduced the lawn footprint, I may take up watering it again. I read somewhere it’s better for fire prevention.

(I swear, I’m trying not to digress, but this is such a cute picture of Cathi and her best buddy, Russell. )

Cathi and Russell at Vancouver Recycled Arts Festival.
Cathi and Russell at Vancouver Recycled Arts Festival.

The Recycled Arts Festival is one of these reasons Cathi’s patios overflow with fabulous treasures. But that’s a story for another day.

Cheers.