Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

A couple of weeks ago I told you all about our plans for a new pea gravel patio (including some great inspiration pictures). Fall is a great time to fit in a backyard project so I’m so excited that we got started. We’ve already made a ton of progress which I will show you today!

When we bought our house four years ago, it was new construction with basically no landscaping, especially in the backyard. It is a very small yard, with no trees and nothing really to work with in the way of any existing structure, patio or shrubs or anything.

Our ground is extremely hard (lots of rocks) so digging and planting was nearly impossible for me. I made the best of it with container plants and did hire some help to dig some holes for a few plants this summer. While I wanted a charming yard, anything really major was out of the question for our budget.

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

But with two pups running around, it was becoming more of a necessity to get some structure and landscape in the yard, otherwise they would just have fun all over the yard in the MUD all winter. And I’d be giving LOTS of doggie baths.

SO we started thinking more seriously about the need for a plan we could implement this Fall to prepare for the inevitable.

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

We went around and around with what to do to both give the dogs space to run, ways to keep the mud down and to create specific usable areas in our yard to make the most of our small yard.

Finally we came up with an idea to enclose a portion of our yard for the dogs to safely run (away from any new plants they could dig up!).

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

And then we would also start out with our first major usable space, a large pea gravel patio with a flagstone walkway around to the enclosed area for the pups. A mud free patio area was going to be heavenly and perfect for entertaining, too.

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

We had a couple of delays on getting the project started but that ended up working out well for me because I conveniently went out of town on business the week the work began. YAY ME!

My husband took control of the project and got some help to do the work because digging in our rocky dirt and moving gravel is a really labor intensive job.

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

I will probably describe the kind of rocks and the process we used for the patio and walkway in a more detailed post at some point when my husband writes out all the steps for me. But for now, you can see that there were quite a few steps involved from digging out dirt to laying landscape fabric and edging, to adding a deep base layer of gravel and compressing it, and then the top layers of pea gravel. And then removing all the excess dirt from our yard since we have no place for it!

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

The new fence and gate will start at the end of this soon-to-be-flagstone path.

You can see by the rock color change that there is no pea gravel in the walkway area yet (the gray is the regular gravel) so we can lay the flagstone.

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

Here you can see the patio area and the mound of dirt in the background which will eventually be the area we will use for our garden!

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

Now that the big part of the work is done, the fun part will begin!

I can’t wait to start adding potted plants, furniture and a new DIY fire pit!

Progress on a Fall Backyard Project: The Pea Gravel Patio!

Next step in the project is to have all that excess dirt and rock removed since we don’t have any space for it.

Then next is the new fence and gate for the dog area. We will lay flagstone for the path all the way from the deck to the doggie zone .

We will also be using flagstone for a landing zone for a new BBQ by the patio, which you’ll get to see in the coming weeks!

I do love interior projects, but honestly I get almost as excited about creating a charming backyard!

I’ll be back with an update soon!

What Fall outdoor projects are you working on or dreaming about?

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New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration

New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration

Decatur, Ga. Photo: Robert Rausch for The New York Times

At the beginning of the summer, I talked about my goal of dividing my boring barren suburban backyard into several different zones to help me form a landscaping plan. Last we talked about my yard, I had done only a little planting in what will eventually be a secret garden (for girls!). I’m excited about that one! But that was about as far as we got, with the exception of a little work in our front yard. But now I’m starting a new project for the backyard!

I’m working with a pretty small budget and limited time, so the backyard improvements are something that will have to evolve over time. But I don’t like small budgets to stop me from making progress, so I’ve learned to be content with bite sized bits at a time.

On Tuesday we have a truckload of pea gravel being delivered for what will be our new patio for a new DIY fire pit, and a new BBQ! Basically this gravel patio project will provide space to hang out on the cool fall evenings (a rest zone) around a fire pit and a simple but more attractive zone to BBQ (eat) with friends and family! We already set up the basic area for the space we envisioned a couple of years back, but we just used the existing bark dust which wasn’t my favorite.

I wanted a little bit more defined and purposeful looking space so I’m excited to finally be getting started!

I have always loved the look of charming pea gravel patios and walkways!

I love the mix of an informal gravel walkway or patio with beautiful fencing and plants. While gravel is a fairly inexpensive material, I see it used quite often in landscapes of beautiful homes so it can look amazing even in a more formal setting. I think the gravel patio will be a perfect foundational part of our landscape that we can build upon with plantings or other elements over time.

We also have  plans for a pathway from our deck steps to what will hopefully be a new dog area for the pups so they can stay out of the mud and my plants during the rainy season! Every time it rains they dig holes and I have to give them a bath so we are definitely wanting to cut down on the mud! Next year we intend to add garden boxes just beyond the gravel firepit patio, so this will be an evolving project!

Today I have some inspiration for backyard designs I love! It will likely take years for mine to look even half as lovely as these, but it gives me a starting point for dreaming, right?

You’ll get to see a couple of shots of the current state of my yard at the very bottom of this post, so you can see my challenge! 

New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration

Brooke Gianneti

New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration

via Cote de Texas

New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration
New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration
New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration
New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration
New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration
New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration
New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration
Enough dreaming!  What I actually have to work with is this little plot of land, below!
New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration

 I’ll update you once our gravel arrives and the project begins! I’m getting pretty excited to see this happen! PS. That blue Adirondack chair was about $20 from a flea market this summer. Wish I had a few more!

Happy weekend! Don’t forget my Fall Nesting series starts Monday!

New Pea Gravel Patio Project! & Backyard Inspiration
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