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.


But the big news happened behind the fence.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


And boy, did it turn out good.


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