Weekend of projecting...the big flagstone project!!

I have been so focused on projecting furniture I have neglected a few little changes I wanted to make around the house. There were no good local auctions so we had two whole days to work around the house...yippeeee!

The first major change is my front flower bed. I don't even have any decent "before" pictures because I have seriously disliked this area for YEARS. It is right next to the entrance of the house, so I want it to look decent.

Over the years I have tried numerous different "landscape designs."  I have tried planting, not planting, pots...nothing tripped my trigger! After years of composting and mulching, the volume of the bed had "grown." Earlier this spring, Matt and I pulled all the landscaping lights and metal edging and dug out all the dirt and mulch...

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I didn't remember, until I looked at these old pictures, that I had beautiful daffodils in this bed...when you see what I have done, you will understand why this is an issue!

You can see the "contour" of the bed which was originally edged with landscape metal and lined with lighting. In the last few years, I haven't even planted in the bed. I just threw down some mulch and planted in the pots every year!

The only thing I left was the little Japanese Maple I planted 13 years ago and the ivy that has grown up around it.

If you have looked at my landscape pictures, you know I am a HUGE fan of flag stone. I bet there is 12-14 tons of flagstone in this yard...and I laid every bit of it!

Side yard...

Backyard swing pergola

 Front yard swing pergola

Front yard swing pergola

Side yard under the pine trees

Walk between deck, patio and pond!

Needless to say, I love flagstone...and I can honestly say I have never regretted using it anywhere! Occasionally I will have to pull a stone and reset it, but all in all, the stones are pretty maintenance free! They are perfect for creating walk-ways, edging ponds or flowerbeds or for areas that will just not grow grass or plants. The flagstone along the side yard under the pine trees is a perfect example. That area was NOT going to grow anything. Over the years, the tree roots and moles have caused the rocks to "pop up" here and there, but I chalk it up to a "natural riverbed" look and leave it as is!

When I was mulling over what I wanted to do with my front "flower bed" I decided I wanted to add flag stone!

My plan originally was to add a flagstone border, and then eventually fill in the rest and create a little "patio" type area. Darn me...I calculated wrong and actually had enough to begin filling in the bed...and since I have already started, I guess I'm going to have to go ahead and buy more rock and finish up the entire job...darn it.

Truth be told, the "Colorado Red" stone I am in love with is a tad pricey, which is why I originally planned to do a little at a time. But, it is so worth it!!!

Quick tutorial...honestly, you can get step by step tutorials on how to lay a flag stone walk or patio online...it's pretty simple! Just make sure you have some muscle handy!

Matt and Brian are my muscle! (Matt is still in his brace from his accident, but that comes off this week...yeah!)

The first thing we did was remove all the loose dirt and mulch, down to the "hard" dirt. You will want to have a good 2" bed of sand to set the rocks in and the rocks range from 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" thick...so make sure you dig down a good 3 1/2 - 4" below your final grade level.

As I mentioned earlier, we dug out the bed earlier this year...and of course it has rained heavily a few times, which is actually great because I got a good feel for how the water WANTS to flow in this area! And it packed the ground!

This weekend we put down the sand bed. I watered the sand and packed it down and then leveled it, making sure I had the grade I need away from the house, the front porch and sidewalk and around the side of the house....

Keep in mind, my original goal was to just get the border down...so that is all I originally prepped!

Once I realized I was going to have so much rock left, I went ahead and prepped and laid the rock in the front part of the bed....

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Now you can see why I was so mortified when I looked at the old pictures and noticed my daffodils...because now they are under the new flagstone. I didn't dig them up when we dug out the dirt in the spring because they were still blooming and I wanted to wait for them to die back before I dug out the bulbs...and then I forgot. 

The temperatures are suppose to be in the 70s this week! INSANE for July in Arkansas! But perfect for finishing up this project! All I need to do is put down more sand and then lay the rest of the rock...a few hours at most! 

When I finish, I'll make sure I post more pictures. I'm thinking I might put my iron bench there and maybe add a few more flowering pots! This area gets TONS of sun so it is important that the plants are heat tolerant and don't require shade! 

The rest of the bed has sand down and is ready for the flagstone!!

And the BIG news...I finally broke down and ordered the laminate for my master bedroom....yep, it's happening!