Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let's Consider our Front Walkway

Last weekend we completed a project that I have been working on since the beginning of July.  I haven't mentioned it on the blog because a part of me wondered if I would even succeed or if this would be an epic DIY fail and I would have to call in the pros.  This project took ages to complete and ended up being fairly involved.  Yes folks this could be the world's slowest front walkway project.  

Let's start with some 'before' photos.  Welcome to our home.  We always have lots of pots of flowers on our front porch along with a few pieces of furniture so that it looks welcoming   It doesn't look too bad, does it?  

Well wait until we step back a bit. Then you can see the narrow pathway made of cement pavers that was being taken over by the garden, the bush (on the left) that I planted in the wrong spot so it blocked the view of the flowers on the porch, and the awkward step arrangement.

As you get closer to the house you can see more problems - there is a gap all along the bottom edge of the stairs.  Why is there a gap there?  This is one of life's bigger mysteries.  I have spent more time than I care to think trying to block up that crack and stop stones and sand from disappearing under the stairs.

Speaking of under the stairs - did you know that a skunk once decided that would make a nice home.  We tried to block it from living there, by putting rocks and chicken wire at the corner.  The rocks and chicken wire did not deter the skunk at all - he just burrowed further and further out each night.  We eventually got rid of him by sprinkling cayenne pepper on the lawn.  

The rocks remained at the corner of our porch stairs though.

And we couldn't use the railing down the porch stairs because there wasn't a pathway at the bottom.  It didn't matter very much in the summer, but in the winter when there is ice and snow around it is nice to be able to hang onto something solid.

So like any normal person I decided to take this on as a DIY project.  Yes in the middle of one of the hottest summer's on record I dug our front yard down the five inches needed to make a walkway.  And our soil is rock. hard. clay!!! (that totally needs three exclamation marks as our clay is ridiculously hard).  Yay, GO ME!

I dug an hour a day first thing every morning and by the end of July I had it all dug out.  Then August came and it was a whirlwind of activities so I didn't get anything done.  Then I was away in Nova Scotia and then at our friend's farm and then in Winnipeg ... and then I started to panic that winter was coming and we were going to have a skating rink right outside our front door.  

So I called in the troops.  I emailed my sister and Malcolm and Christie to see if they could come and help us.  Two weekends ago we all worked together and got the job done. It looks fantastic - I'll show you what we did in a post tomorrow.
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  1. Talk about a cliff hanger! Hurry up tomorrow!!!!

  2. Oh I can hardly wait. You know we have similar porches and while I love our backyard patio, I really should have done the front first. We have a similar patio stone path.

  3. You must be so relieved to be done! Thanks for the tip about the skunk too! Have a great Thanksgiving! And thanks for the good word on my fall tablescape. I like the one you posted on your last post too! Darling marigold pumpkins.