The secret garden is coming along and looking great. We now get to enjoy coming out here in the evenings to have a bite to eat or just wind down from the day. We did it on a budget of zero dollars.

This is a look at the area BEFORE we started

It is a long narrow grassy strip that is completely closed in by
 fencing and buildings. It was very annoying to get the lawn
 mower in there to mow so we were spraying the grass each
 year and avoid the area. After a while I put in a gate to get
 the mower in easier but came to realize how dangerous it
 was to mow in such a tight area with walls around you.

What motivated this project after all this time

The thing that really got this project off the ground was
 redoing our front stairs. That first project turned out great
 and motivated us to try and reclaim more of the space. We
 speculated we could continue laying pavers through out the
 area but that would take time and a lot of work.
image 0 image 0 image 0

All the pavers we got were FREE from CL.

GG had prostate surgery in early spring and had a long
 recovery time. He got a little flabby and weak during that
 period. Once he got the all clear from the Dr. he started
 scanning the free ads for pavers and would pick up smaller
 loads of them as they came available. Each time he would
 feel muscle mass coming back and would get a bit stronger.
 But his warning to others is that just because something is
 free doesn't mean it is wrapped with a bow and waiting curb
 side for you. Some times he had to dig them up himself or
 carry them over long distances to load them but the worst
 was the rocky hill he had to climb up and down to get them loaded.

Back at home I was laying the pavers.

This was a zero budget project so I couldn't afford sand to lay
 them perfectly. This whole area is crushed gravel covered
 with a bit of grass so I just raked the ground clean and as
 level as I could. Most of the work was done on my ass, sitting
 and scooching around. Each time a new load showed up I
 would make it a little farther down the path.


Part 2 can be read here:

Stair build can be read here:

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