Spring has Sprung with Yard Projects

Spring has finally sprung here in the South and what does that mean? Yard projects! Fixing bare spots in the yard, mulching flower beds, planting flowers and planting hops (at least here at my house). Its been a busy week already.

We knew we wanted to add a bush and some flowers but didn’t what to use. Owen and I had been going to Lowe’s to check on bushes, prices, stone and more and couldn’t decide. Ever been to Lowe’s or your favorite home improvement store for hours and ended up leaving with nothing? Yeah that happens to us (me) all the time or we end up getting it then returning it.

Something was missing on the side of the deck and this trip to Lowe’s helped to alleviate that. We walked around for a while trying to figure out what flowers and bushes we wanted to use. Heading to the door to leave, we noticed the sign: 10 for $10. I love a deal. Even if its saving a little bit of money I knew that was going to help us. Owen and I scurried to where Lowe’s keeps the stone blocks and found our treasure. We stopped to get our bushes, top soil and bulbs to plant and were headed for the door.

The Project

We got home a few minutes later, grabbed the wheel barrel and started taking our 54 stone blocks, bulbs, dirt and flowers to the back yard. I have learned throughout the years of doing DIY and home improvement projects to grab a very specialized tool, a three foot level to help keep the stones level. I leveled the ground as best as I could with a flat shovel and started laying the stone. Note: some people used crushed rock to level the stone, but I didn’t see the need for it on such a small project.

I played all the stone out and added the top soil to make room for the bush. Once I finished laying this side out (see picture) I went to the other side to lay that out. The other side was more of a pain in the butt because my yard slopes about a 8-10″ from right to left.

I had to use an extra 12 on my stone blocks to bring it up to the same level as the other side. Things you have to think about when you are doing projects outside is the slope of your yard. Sometimes you end up having to use a lot more material then you originally thought. Honestly, thats okay and it comes with the nature of the beast.Once we had laid the stones out on both sides we use a landscape glue to keep the stones from moving. Having kids who love to climb on everything and destroy everything, this was a must need.
I highly recommend PL’s 500 Landscape Glue. It is very sticky so try not to get in on your skin. PL Landscape Glue doesn’t dry quick so if you make a mistake its very forgiving. If you don’t realize your mistake till later, you will have to break the stone with a hammer to get it loose. I made a fire pit at my previous house and used this glue and made a mistake and had to tear the whole thing down and get all new stones.

I took a row of stones off at a time and used the glue liberally. To make sure that the stones weren’t going anywhere when my kids attacked the flower beds, I went through 2 full tubes of glue on this project.

Gluing the blocks up was pretty quick step, so when we were done we carefully planted the bushes. The bushes we got are going to grow to about four feet by six feet. However, trimming them yearly I’ll be able to  manage their growth and keep them from going crazy. We also planted about 30 bulbs in both flower beds (Iris’s) that way we get blooms from early spring all the way through fall. All in all this project cost about $120 and it makes the back of our deck look so much better.

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