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Old 04-06-2010, 02:28 PM   #1
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


Ok, so I'm attaching a pic of the front of my house.
I wanna dig up whatever is there now and redo.

I was trying to figure how I could liven up the concrete walkway as well in the process.

Here is the idea I have currently. Get rid of the silly wood border down the left side of the walkway.
Put some kind of border in front, starting coming off the curve in the walkway, and curving a bigger radius toward the house, sweeping in to a min of about 6 or 7 ft wide in the center of the house there, and then curving back out and around that tree to the right of the house (grass wont grow under it) and then curve back around and die into the side of the house.
All of that would be fully of mulch (landscape guy suggested double hammered hardwood. He recommended against anything dyed black or red.)

As for edging, its totally up in the air. I've got about 90 of these 6" grey border blocks (pic attached) in a different area of the backyard that I can move and reuse.
I also looked at maybe that poured concrete stuff, if it was under 4 bucks ft, then it wouldn't be much more than buying bordr blocks since they run 1.50 a piece and up to over 3 and are only 6" long.

I also thought of the Trek decking material border strip. It comes in 4 and 5.5" wide. The 5.5" width runs 25 dollars for 16ft. So not cheap either.

As for down beside the walkway, to the house, I'd match the border material, but here is the big idea.....
....I thought of laying stepping stones directly on the concrete walk, and covering the concrete path with river rock gravel. I'd actually curve in and out a little down the left side of the walk there, (gravel out beyond the concrete where it would curve out) and make it look natural, and the concrete would basically disappear.

If I didn't make sense, please say so, I'll try to clarify.

My concern with that last part of covering the concrete, is that I dunno how to die into the driveway. Maybe I remove the last 1ft of concrete walkway so that gravel can fill that and die into the edge of the driveway smoothly.

I'm looking at perinneal low maintenance plants.

Here are the pics. I'd love some suggestions and critical thinking.
Attached Thumbnails
Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.-img00121-20100404-1656.jpg   Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.-img00120-20100404-1656.jpg   Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.-img00123-20100404-1658.jpg   Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.-img00124-20100404-1658.jpg   Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.-img00126-20100404-1723.jpg  


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Old 04-06-2010, 03:55 PM   #2
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


Here is a sketch I did in Autocad to represent how I'm proposing to "cover over" the concrete walkway.

Note, that all the hatched area is where gravel would be on top of dirt.
All the cross-hatched area is where mulch would overlap onto the concrete a bit.

Also, the large arc out front of the house is the proposed area that I would mulch in to create some kind of bed. I'd put some kind of border around there.

Looking for good border suggestions. ???
Also, he suggested I till that whole area. Why would I need to do that rather than just dig holes, put the bushes in, and mulch around them.

Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:04 PM   #3
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


Hi RhizzlebopWhere do you live? Does the front of your house face North, south, east or west?I am from Michigan so I can help with this zone. I would seriously advise against stepping stones and gravel. This is the main entrance to the house and will get a lot of foot traffic. You will end up with stones all over. If you live in the North how will you shovel the snow? As for edging I would stick with a commercial grade black plastic to keep cost down. 20 ' stick should be about 10 bucks or so. The tree side of the front has a downhill grade so you could build a block wall about 3-4 blocks high depending on grade. Start around the corner at the lowest point and work around the house to the front stepping up the stones when the grade tells you to. I would try to stay on the inside of the tree with the wall and then create a mulch bed around the tree that ties into the block wall.It would appear that you have a upper bed and a lower bed. This gives your yard a bit of dimension as well. be prepared the tree roots will give you fits. Don't forget to get your downspouts out of the beds via drain tile and downspout adapters. There may be a way to stain your concrete to tone it down a bit.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:19 PM   #4
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


Bushman good questions.
First I am in South Carolina so there will be no shoveling of snow. lol
We just had our worst winter in 15 years and we got a dusting once and 6 inches another time which was gone in about 36 hours.

With that said it may be a bad idea for other reasons but I just thought it would look pretty sweet. Maybe others will chime in for this climate.

As far as a wall and the slope the slope is actuallyy not that much, but I'll certainly think on that one.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:49 AM   #5
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I wasn't sure whether to start a new topic, or just add to this one.

I am the type person who tries to think ahead and cover bases while I'm at it.

I had a thought, that if I'm gonna till this whole bed area, and do all this work, I may as well put in the ability to do some light watering when we get those stretches of little rain here in South Carolina.

I searched and found some threads on dripking and netaflm.

I don't want fancy, and if it can cost me under 100 bucks, that'd be nice. (doubt it'll be that cheap though.

I don't wanna water the whole lawn, but making these bushes I'm putting in look nice would be good.

I have a faucet right in the middle of the front of the house there I'd like to connect to.

I found some kits on dripking but they all seem to have too much stuff in em. I just want prob 10 or 20 of the low emitting 0.5 heads and some kind of battery or wired selenoid to this for a half hour every other day or something.

One trick will be getting under that sidewalk.

I'm thinking I could use a piece of steel pipe, an angle grinder, and cut myself a cutting head. Attach it to a drill, and basically burrow a hole under that slab to the other side. Then I'd somehow tie my drip lines together with pvc or something under that slab bore to water both areas.
I'd also run a small conduit under there which would help with my low volt wiring for lights.

This http://www.dripking.com/shop/kits/La...Irrigation+Kit
seems to have everything, except the electric or battery selenoid and it has too many higher flow emitters and those angle sprays which I don't think I need.

Can someone direct me to the right thing?
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:12 AM   #6
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhizzlebop View Post
I wasn't sure whether to start a new topic, or just add to this one.

I had a thought, that if I'm gonna till this whole bed area, and do all this work, I may as well put in the ability to do some light watering when we get those stretches of little rain here in South Carolina.
imo - a new thread would be the way to go, although it is probably applicable to this one as well.

a soaker hose or drip system is pretty easy to install from what i remember. i did a couple with my folks when i was in high school. its a lot of physical labor, but not too difficult conceptually to install.

boring under the sidewalk is a pain in the butt but it isnt terribly difficult either. you can probably rent 3" auger bit from a hardware store or pick one up for about $40.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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I am not sure if my whole post is poor and uninteresting, or if there just aren't that many visitors/posters on this site.

I've read I can bore under that slab using water, but that sounds like a mess and will wash out a lot of material.

I am thinking I could even use a piece of PVC, and cut the end like 4 spikes, and attach it to a drill by using a holesaw bit, and run a bolt through the slot on the bit, and through the pipe.

Then dig down a hole on either side of the area there, and then use the "Bit" and drill to bore under the slab.

Anyone ever tried this? Seems like it would wash out a lot less material and much lower chance of the sidewalk caving in later.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhizzlebop View Post
I am not sure if my whole post is poor and uninteresting, or if there just aren't that many visitors/posters on this site.

I've read I can bore under that slab using water, but that sounds like a mess and will wash out a lot of material.

I am thinking I could even use a piece of PVC, and cut the end like 4 spikes, and attach it to a drill by using a holesaw bit, and run a bolt through the slot on the bit, and through the pipe.

Then dig down a hole on either side of the area there, and then use the "Bit" and drill to bore under the slab.

Anyone ever tried this? Seems like it would wash out a lot less material and much lower chance of the sidewalk caving in later.
when we did it we dug a hole with a shovel and used an auger bit on the end of a drill, then put a piece of PVC through the hole and backfilled.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


Here is a slightly more polished autocad rendering of my concept for the bed and walkway.

The idea is to take it from feeling like walking up a concrete boring walkway, to walking up a gravel path with stones. (smooth river rock style, with large stones, so MOSTLY stones, and just filler rock so you cover the concrete.

Notice, all the hatched and cross hatched areas. That is where either gravel would be over on top of soil now, or mulch would come in on top of the concrete in a few areas, giving it that curvy feel.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:24 PM   #10
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


crickets......

I've got a guy coming by in the morning to see about doing the tilling planting and maybe laying the blocks and mulch.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:55 PM   #11
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


So, with these edging blocks, I'm gonna till the area. I'm thinking if I just set them along the edge of the tilled space, then they will naturally settle down prob an inch below the untilled ground so that once the ground sort of rehardens, they'll be slightly recessed down, and that should help hold them in place.
Does this sound like a good approach?
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:26 AM   #12
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The greenhouse guy recommended I use weed mat before I put down the mulch.

Anyone have experience with that?
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:23 AM   #13
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I'm really not sure if my thread just sucks, or if this forum is a ghost town, minus the ghosts.
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:43 PM   #14
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You need to place the blocks and set them firm. They wiil settle naturally as you suggested but they will be willy nilly. I guarantee it. I do not use weed mat under mulch. A good thick layer of mulch suppresses weeds. I do use it under stone however.
No one will tell you your thread sucks. If it is important to you then it does not suck. It may just not be that interesting to others. No fault of your own. It's hard to help landscape over the net is all.
As long as you get dirt under your nails your cool with me.
Go Green!!!

Last edited by Bushman; 04-13-2010 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:41 PM   #15
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Looking to bring life to my front walk area on a decent yet slim budget.


Have you done the work yet? I'm concerned about building codes. I'm a newbie, got on for shower tiling and decided to look at landscaping, since that is my profession. Many cities have standards about front entrances.

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