Have you had a project that you just could not bring yourself to complete? A task that is fairly straightforward, but something about it just makes you not want to work on it? To me, this task is the shed patio.
I curved out this patio space in the Spring of 2020, when the pandemic just started and we were all stuck at home. The tearing-out process was easy, but we could not get our hands on any materials needed to build it back up.
During the next year or so, we were able to gather the stones and pavers needed for this project. But we did not get into building right away. We kept our attention inside for the guest bathroom and the kitchen, and finished all the interior renovation just before the summer of 2022.
When the cooler weather of Fall rolled around, it was finally time to tackle the shed patio! Slav was in for some serious dirt work, and I really wanted to get the surrounding garden beds finished.
From the picture above you can see the terrace garden I created back in 2020. We have since planted an apple tree here, then filled the space around it with whatever we had on hand – mostly irises and russian sages. I had no idea about how I wanted in this garden to look, just did not want it to be bare.
Except the apple tree, every plant here is either a freebie or a divide. But they seemed to be thriving here and filled the garden bed quickly.
To finish the patio we first needed to remove more soil to create the correct depth for the pavers. We also wanted to build a retaining wall to hold back the soil and mulch in the terrace above, which would work and look a lot better than the wood stumps. Lastly, we needed to lay the flagstone pavers!
These tasks are very physical, so Slav became the muscle in this project. He started by scrapping soil off the patio surface. We had black plastic covering the soil for over two years, so the ground was fairly moist and surprisingly easy to dig.
The soil removed was dumped at a low spot in our yard, behind the drive gate and where we parked the trailer:
This spot was already low when we moved in, and it settled a lot more because of the weight of the heavy trailer. As you can see, the dogs did not help – they like to dig big holes under the trailer and sleep in dirt.
This spot needed more soil and we saw it as a perfect opportunity to get rid of the soil removed from the patio surface.
The pups were not thrilled with us taking their “sandbox” away. They silently judged us from the comfort of the shade and soft lawn.
We compacted the spot down after all the earth work and I cannot believe that this small area swallowed such much! But it was perfect – solid, level, and just below the concrete sidewalk.
While Slav was scraping the patio base, I worked on adding a flower bed between the patio and the lawn. The lawn at this corner is always patchy and hard to maintain. Therefore, we decided to extend the existing flower bed further into the lawn, and completely wrap around the shed patio.
Except this corner. We wanted a smooth transition from the lawn grass to the flagstone patio, instead of a step down. So we could easily move wheelbarrow and lawn mower in and out of the shed.
As usual, I spray-painted the shape of the new flower bed, then moved the metal edging to create the new boundary.
I liked the idea of this new flower bed. Once flowers started to grow this bed would mask the flagstones from the lawn, bringing some softness between the two flat surfaces. It also defines the patio entry point better – as soon as I put the metal edging down, we naturally walked around it and onto the future path, including the dogs!
After I established the boundary of the new flower bed, Slav was able to flip soil directly into it to fill the beds. We also laid the first row of the retaining wall blocks to make sure we liked how everything looked together.
To finish the flower bed off I mulched it with wood chips and lined the metal edging with tree stumps and branches. I prefer the look of organic borders. Once the grass grow up in summer, you will not see the metal edging at all.
Here is another look of the lawn-patio transition. We were able to tuck the drip tubing for the fruit trees behind the retaining wall and between the lawn and flagstone:
After creating a gentle slope away from the shed, Slav buried the phone line (not in use) and compacted the soil in this area. We kept the other end of the patio open as well so we can walk onto the mulched area and around the shed easily.
At this point, I started loving it. Our little garden shed was so lovable, and with the new patio it would be super cute! We would be working on the retaining wall next, so stay tuned!