Part 2 of the 2013 Year in Review covers the street facing side area between the front and back yard. This area has been bare dirt for years and this summer I finally paved and planted it.

Here’s a street view progression over the past few years.

side_from_street

But the big news happened behind the fence.

behind_fence_dirt

I marked the rough path and dug two inches down to accommodate a 50%/50% paving sand and native dirt to set the flagstone path.

behind_fence_rock

I don’t necessarily recommend using only sand and dirt under flagstone, a gravel base is more stable over time. But this was a short walkway, I don’t mind the slight unevenness of the stones and they won’t have a lot of standing weight on them. Over time they have settled nicely and it went very quickly.

I planted Scotch and Irish Moss between the stones, planted Japanese forest grasses and ferns along one side and Japanese spurge along the other. It turned out so great.

behind_fence_planted

After taking the above photo, the moss hasn’t done so well against the onslaught of pine needles this winter. But that’s what I get for not keeping up on raking.

Next, the side entrance to the house. Like the rest of the side yard, it was dirt for years. I covered it in pine needles for a while in an attempt to minimize tracking mud into the house. It didn’t work. So this year I finally got around to setting a lovely stone path from the sidewalk to the door.

sidedoor

And then promptly built a gate to hide it. I think it says, “Stay the hell out” with a quiet elegance.

For some added privacy, I built a planter to break the sight line from the sidewalk in the front of the house to the back yard. It helped a little.

sidedoor_planter

I continued the flagstone path from the sidedoor to the back yard.

side_back_rocks

And boy, did it turn out good.

side_back_finished

So, there’s a little teaser for Part 3: The Back Yard. Until next week!