Romie has come to dread it somewhat when he hears me say, "Honey, I have an idea..." I know that behind my back, he's rolling his eyes and thinking, "What now?" and "How much is this going to cost?" Whenever I get an idea, he rarely shoots me down altogether, but if he is reluctant to go along with it, I'll remind him of how he always likes things after we've carried my ideas out. His response? "I liked it before, too."
When I talked about our projects previously, there was one that I didn't mention, because it was one of those ideas that just randomly pops into my head and then we do it shortly after. We had a stepping stone walkway that led from our patio to the pool, using stones that my Grandma had given us when she didn't want them anymore. They were roughly 12 inches in diameter and had the texture and appearance of a slice of tree. Romie had set them down into the grass last summer.
Sometime about two months ago, I decided I wanted to replace those stepping stones with flagstone. As you can imagine, he did not see the need to do this and kind of dragged his feet about it. He knew that he was going to be the one that would do all the work on this one and while I can understand why he didn't want to do it, I still wanted it done.
When we went to Beining's Nursery back in April, we picked out 17 feet of various pieces of flagstone to make a walkway about two feet wide. We laid it out there at the nursery, and got a few extra pieces than we thought we'd need. They weighed it and at 11 cents a pound, the total came to around forty dollars. Very reasonable!
The flagstone sat stacked on our patio for several weeks, then when Romie found out he needed surgery, this was one task he wanted to get completed. Last week, he finished it and I love it. He likes it too, of course, but true to form he mentioned that he liked it before.
His assumption was that we would let grass grow between the flagstones, but my vision was to plant "Stepables", which are very low-growing, creeping plants that can take light foot traffic. He didn't really know quite what I was talking about until I brought them home.
I got three different things:
- Red Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox 'Coccineus')
- Irish Moss (Sagina subulata)
- Dwarf Thrift (Armeria 'Victor Reiter')
Jenna spent the night last night, so she was there to supervise while I planted them between the cracks in the flagstone. I placed them so that they were entirely bordered by the stone so that mowing by the walkway won't affect them, although these all three grow so tightly to the ground the mower probably wouldn't cut them much anyway.
For planting, I used my garden tool that I don't use very often, but when the situation presents itself, I'm glad I have it. I don't even know what it's called, but it is sort of fork-shaped. I've used it for extracting tough weeds, loosening soil in tight spots, and digging small holes for planting, which is what made it perfect for this job. It was part of a set of hand tools that I bought from Smith and Hawken two years ago, when they had them on sale. They even came with a nifty wooden case for storing them that hangs on the wall.
I've given instructions to not walk on the Stepables for a few days, to allow them to settle in. All of them are moderate to fast growers, so the cracks will probably be filled by the end of summer.
Another project completed! I wonder what the next one will be . . .