Paving Stones for Über Beginners

I am admittedly not a green thumb or very good with most things yard and garden related. I did yard work as a kid under duress but am now learning to appreciate all things green and natural since I bought a house. Included in my yard and garden category of work is really anything on my property that doesn’t involve sipping a sangria in my Adirondack.

As my blog tagline indicates, living in a big city brings along with it a few hurdles for DIY. In my case – space. I have a three-story house with good square footage, but a very small footprint. My builder generously left no room for anything but the house on my plot, which limits the mount of grass to mow (only 1200 sq ft!), but also severely limits any outdoor storage possibilities. Case in point, and the focus of this post, nowhere to store my lovely City of Houston issued trash and recycling cans.

Unlike some of my neighbors, I am against the idea of storing them in my garage – gross. Being a corner unit, I had only one option. The picture below shows my dilemma.

Before picture of paver project

How do I get my cans in between our houses?

The only feasible solution was to take out the bush and store my cans between our houses. With only a few inches to spare between downspouts and hose bibs, it was going to be tight. Another challenge was the uneven drop off of the driveway. This would require beginner hardscaping! I had professionals do the heavy lifting on my patio – which turned out great – and figured I could handle his small project.

After taking out the bush, the challenge was to create a gentle slope of dirt that I could compact enough to support rolling my cans up and down. Since the area over which I had to make the transition was small, the gentle slope couldn’t be that gentle after all.

After shaping the base with a manual compactor, I sprinkled baking soda on the dirt to prevent weeds for growing. Then, I laid down my Lowe’s pavers in two rows. I adjusted as I went and they fit pretty well. Finally, I added sand to fill in the cracks between the pads and hopefully add some stability to the ramp. It’s not pretty, but I’m not as uncomfortable at the idea of hardscaping anymore.

Completed paver project

Success! Only one plant had to be sacrificed.

-Stephanie

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