Building a flagstone walkway and garden entrance—part two.

Building a home and garden entrance—part two.

 I was really enjoying the flagstone and garden project.  Who wouldn’t?  There was always a fresh pot of coffee, the sweet lady fixed lunch for us every day, and the job was turning into a true work of art.  I was given total creative license.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  Read on, I will show before and after at the end of this article.

 I didn’t like the way the side of the landing at the back door was looking, so after pondering a bit, I decided that we needed to build a shelf for large potted plants to the side of the landing.  We started with cement blocks and framed in a nice level platform to end up a little lower than the level of the landing.

Building the foundation for a "plant shelf"
Building the foundation for a “plant shelf”

 My choices for facing the side of the shelf were either stucco or rock veneer.  It wasn’t really a hard choice to go with the rock veneer and I was intrigued as Jose showed me how to get the rocks to stick.  It was the same principle as a suction cup.  I got some pictures of the manner in which he made a suction application with the mortar. As I was writing this, my son, Paul, walked in and asked me how to stick flagstone to a wall.  I laughed and told him to read the article when I was finished.

It's all in how you apply the cement.  It starts with a thin layer over the entire rock surface
It’s all in how you apply the cement. It starts with a thin layer over the entire rock surface
A raised edge of mortar is placed on the side of the rock.
A raised edge of mortar is placed on the side of the rock.
an edge of mortar is put all around the rock with a hole in the middle to form a "suction cup"
an edge of mortar is put all around the rock with a hole in the middle to form a “suction cup”
The rock is gently tapped in place, the suction holds it
The rock is gently tapped in place, the suction holds it

 And when the veneer is finished, it looks really good.  Mortar is tucked around the joints.

The rocks are carefully fit into place
The rocks are carefully fit into place

 The elevation of the deck, the walk, and the hillside requires some creative terracing.  To do this, we shape and pack the compost and then add rocks to hold the terraces in place. 

time for the terraces
time for the terraces

The compost is held in place with carefully selected=

 Drip irrigation pipe is installed.  This is Rainbird drip tubing with emitters placed at 18 inches.  It is available at Home Depot.  I will write some irrigation articles at a later date.

drip irrigation is relatively cheap and easy.  Well worth the trouble
drip irrigation is relatively cheap and easy. Well worth the trouble

 A small tube is connected to the drip line and runs up to the pots on the shelf by the porch. We keep the tubing under or behind the pots to hide them as much as possible.

a drip watering tube is installed for each flower pot
a drip watering tube is installed for each flower pot

 An adjustable water emitter is placed in each flower pot.

adjustable drip nozzles for the flower pots.
adjustable drip nozzles for the flower pots.

The valve assemblies are installed by hooking into a faucet that is never used.  The installation will be semi automatic.  The white pipe will be painted flat black which will make it non obtrusive.

The Orbit electric valves are cheap enough at Lowe's or Home Depot.
The Orbit electric valves are cheap enough at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Wires are run from the automatic valves to a simple controller clock in the basement.  The system may then be operated on either a manual or an automatic mode.

The Orbit controller.  Simple, dependable and worth the price--around $20.00 at Lowe's or Home Depot
The Orbit controller. Simple, dependable and worth the price–around $20.00 at Lowe’s or Home Depot

 Some leftover flagstone is laid as stepping stones to the bird feeder and all that is left to do is put down some pine straw and clean up.

make it easy to get to the bird feeder
make it easy to get to the bird feeder

Here are some pictures of before and after.

before
before
after--I can't wait to see it planted.
after–I can’t wait to see it planted.
entrance before
entrance before
A new entrance to home and garden.  What a difference!!
A new entrance to home and garden. What a difference!!

Turn your friends on to this site.  Leave your comments and questions.  I am always looking for a new topic to write about.

You may see the adventures of Johntheplantman in the book Requiem for a Redneck by John P. Schulz (Illustrated by my son, J.R. Schulz) at

The ebook version: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FOAJCGO

You may also wish to read the reviews on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Requiem-Redneck-John-P-Schulz/dp/0981825206/

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane Schulz
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 16:09:19

    Wow! I love seeing the before and after since I don’t have your creative imagination. This is beautiful; no wonder she treats you so well.

    I will be eager to see what you put in the pots. Geraniums? Impatiens? No, your beloved begonias!

    Reply

  2. John Schulz
    Mar 07, 2010 @ 16:11:58

    I’m not doing the planting, Jane, just getting it ready.
    The client is one of the most amazing gardeners ever!

    Reply

  3. Bill Amos
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 08:45:41

    friend john…what a pleasure to read someone talk about how much they like their job..sharing your creativity in all things plantwise….is like persueing a hobby that you both enjoy….and you shared the secret of the sticking flagstone it would be great if you could share some pictures of this garden when it is finished…time is almost here ..how about an article about successful seed starting…Bill Amos

    Reply

  4. Trackback: A beautiful backyard garden path « johntheplantman's stories, plants, and gardening
  5. caglar keskin
    May 16, 2010 @ 06:18:12

    It is a useful information about drip irrigation. I am a farmer and we have very large fields, before drip
    irrigation system was found it was a nightmare to irrigate all those fields because where i live is a place
    that does not rain so much. Now we use drip irrigation, saving so many water and it is a lot easier to irrigate
    the field with that. I am trying to read everything about drip irrigation and i recommend every farmer to use that
    technique, so i am grateful for everyone who gives information about it. I also found a very good guide about drip
    irrigation and it may be useful too for those who want to learn more information about that;

    http://agricultureguide.org/

    Reply

  6. Trackback: Building a flagstone walkway and garden entrance « johntheplantman's stories, plants, and gardening
  7. Trackback: Rock garden steps with a retaining wall–part one « johntheplantman's stories, plants, and gardening
  8. Trackback: Building stone steps with a retaining wall—part two « johntheplantman's stories, plants, and gardening
  9. Zeke Vanderpool
    Nov 26, 2012 @ 10:08:07

    John, do you have an email where I could contact you? I know you are a busy man but I’d like to get your opinion regarding some ideas I have about working with cut stone.

    Reply

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