#shedlife Patio

When I realized that last summer was not going to turn out to be one of crazy adventure but instead going to be one that presented me with the opportunity to make a house in Ridgway a reality for me, I also decided to take on a bit of a project.

While I was mowing a neighbor’s lawn around her raised garden beds (very similar to mine) I realized that it was a giant pain. I had to maneuver the mower around a million corners and it still needed to be edged with a weed eater. I needed to think of a different plan for my beds. Then I started to think about summer monsoons and tracking mud into the shed…

A vision for my shed patio was born. (Hurray for another #damselNOTindistress project!) I went to Home Depot and started browsing their options for patio pavers. I started out envisioning this as a relatively inexpensive project but as DIY things often do, the scope expanded and I decided to do a more “complete” job and I wound up spending about $1000 on pavers, sand, gravel plus delivery, and the rental of a paver cutter. Initially I thought, I probably should have put this project off for a few years but when we had multiple thaws over the winter it was totally worth it. (Not to mention it just felt like further staking a claim to the property!)

The project started out with digging out a level paver surface. Let me tell you, this turned into a way bigger thing that I thought! I wish I would have laid the pavers and installed the garden beds at the same time to eliminate the need for cutting pavers but hindsight is always helpful.

Taking a break in the shade
Taking a break in the shade

Since I don’t have a pickup truck, I splurged on delivery of gravel ($125) for the paver area rather than asking a friend to take multiple trips to Montrose. Spreading the gravel went extra fast thanks to help from a neighbor and from little Miss LC. The help was especially awesome since I was trying to do this amid 60 hour work weeks!

LC

Fortunately, a friend volunteered to bring me some paver sand from Montrose which saved me another hefty delivery fee and signaled real progress on my project! Laying the pavers went fairly quickly and they’re pretty darn level. Once I had all of the whole pavers laid, I rented a cement/paver cutter from Home Depot and trimmed out all of the partial rows. I’m glad I didn’t stray from my pattern to force the pavers to “mostly” fit into the spaces. Everything looks so great this way.

Paver cutter

Early in the fall, my friend moved to California and gave me her patio table and then my boss found me an old umbrella he wasn’t using so the whole thing feels really quite nice. I was really conservative about over planting this year since I didn’t have water on the property until just last week but they still look good!

Building Raised Garden Beds

As my summer has started to come together, it appears that I’ll be in the Ridgway-Montrose area for the best time of the year! This meant that I would be around enough to tend to the beginnings of a garden. I especially wanted to get some raspberries going since it takes a couple of years for them to really get established and growing. Since the lot is bare and might be so for awhile, I wanted the garden to help make it appear that someone cares about the place so raised beds just seemed a lot more substantial.

Considering that I’m a combination of cash poor and kind of cheap, I initially decided to make my beds out of deconstructed pallets. After knocking apart two pallets I decided that was pretty much a waste of time and decided to go to Home Depot and make a different game plan.

I LUCKED OUT. When I went to Home Depot, I found enough slightly flawed 6’x3″ fence boards to build 3 beds at 18″ each I also grabbed three 10′ 2x4s to be the uprights and put all of it on top of Ruth for the trip to Ridgway. Once I started building, things went absolutely swimmingly. (It also helped a lot that my shed was mostly empty and I could use it as a flat stable place to assemble things.

Garden beds

Sprocket amused himself by frequently climbing the dirt pile (happily diminished last fall by someone who needed fill) and checking out the view of the Cimarrons.

Sprocket dog on dirt pile

I paused before tackling the next two boxes to artificially level the first and see how it looked:

Cedar garden beds

And then Sprocket convinced me to stop and enjoy the sunshine for a minute:

Sunshine cuddle break

Building the second two boxes went fast after figuring things out with the first one. The batteries on my drill died and I forgot to bring the charger so I had to go borrow an impact from a friend. My #damselNOTindistress wish list totally grew: it was so much easier. Here are the completed boxes before they were leveled in the ground:

Garden beds

I got a little over ambitious and created another project for myself when I set the boxes level to each other even though the ground slopes to the east; I’ll eventually level the area around them I guess because I’m a glutton for punishment.

Garden beds and shed

I’ll be headed back down to Ridgway soon to fill them from the dirt pile!