Stone floor and lots of flowers
It all started with...
Blockage in the sewage! What do we do now? Called the plumbing company and soon they were on site and filmed the sewer lines, and it turned out that our nice and well-grown Aspars had started feasting on sewage. Aspens had grown into the drains! Quick decision, the Tree fellers called and they showed up with chainsaws and a lot of Eco plugs to avoid an invasion of Asp shoots in the whole lawn. Unfortunately, the Eco plugs had probably passed their Best Before date because the lawn was completely invaded with hundreds of mini Aspars... Sigh! To get rid of the Aspers for good, the lawn had to be dug up. Called the man with the digger, he came and turned the lawn into a mound of dirt and all the Aspen roots dug up became a big spring bonfire. Well, what do we do with the soil pile? Laying a new lawn or fixing up that lovely place with nice stone paths and lots of flowers that I've been dreaming about for a while? The choice was simple, of course we got started and made the dream come true!
The plans are taking shape
The area I am going to transform from a mound of earth into a sea of flowers is about 100 square meters. I always draw my ideas on paper, but to get a better 3D feel of the plans, I decided to try SketchUp. It was a bit tricky to get started, but after a while it went smoothly and it was great fun! Highly recommended, and there is a free version that works just fine. When I had finished sketching, it was time to order stone and I spent many hours comparing prices between different suppliers. In the end I chose Stenbolaget because their total price for the delivery was the best. Many other suppliers enticed with a cheap price per square meter for the stone itself, but charged exorbitantly for shipping. I ordered online and a few days later the driver called to arrange a time for delivery. As we have a fairly long and narrow driveway to our house, I wasn't really sure if the truck would be able to put the pallets of rock where I wanted them. However, this problem was solved gallantly as Stenbolaget's truck was equipped with a small truck that arrived almost everywhere and the pallets could be placed where I wanted them. This saved me many hours of work moving rock. I chose Troja flagstone as I think it's great and also the previous owner has put it in several other places in the garden.
Sub-work and a lot of new knowledge
The digger had to work again and quickly dug away approx. 30 cm of topsoil where the walkways and patio should be. We then laid out ground cloth to prevent the bearing layer from being pressed into the mud. Even when the bearing layer had to be laid out, the digger came in handy, because this type of material is rather difficult to shovel in a wheelbarrow by hand. Now, however, it went very quickly and it was soon time to go and rent a ground vibrator to make the surface really stable. One tip I got from the lessor was to try to get the right case already on the carrier because once it's packed, it's hard to change. The tip was followed and it was lucky because it turned out to be true that the bearing became hard as concrete when vibrated (which I noticed when I wanted to make a last minute change and had to dig out some of the packed bearing. Sweaty!) When the berry layer was really tightly packed, we put on a layer of stone flour which was also really tightly packed. Now the substrate had to be pulled off so that we got the right case, and it was a bit tricky because I have made several passages that should meet. However, we had the help of my parents, who are good at putting things off, so it worked out in the end. Passing on knowledge between generations is always good. Finally, it was time to start laying stone and since the surface was now perfect, it went very quickly. What took a little time was cutting some stones in half to get the laying in place. It would have been great if there had been half stones (21x10.5 cm) to buy.
Flowers, flowers and some more...
Now all the stones were laid and it was time to start building the flower beds where I will plant lots of flowers. The frames were carved, painted black and filled with some of the topsoil that had been dug up to make the walkways. In order for the plants to thrive extra well, a lot of cow manure was added. Now everything was ready for sowing and planting! I like Dahlias and over the years have collected many Dahlia tubers which overwinter in boxes in the garage. The boxes were carried up and we planted 75 tubers in part of the new flower beds. It will bloom fantastically at the end of the summer! I also planted sweet peas next to the new patio to be able to sit there this summer and enjoy the lovely scent. As my husband Richard is more interested in plants that can be eaten than flowers, I planted some bushes of Bärhägg medlar which in July/August produce fantastically good berries. This shrub is also called Saskatoon and grows naturally on the prairies of the northern United States and Canada, whose Indian tribes have used the berries for hundreds of years as a delicacy, vitamin and mineral supplement and as a natural medicine. Saskatoon berries are also called tree blueberries or blueberry medlar. The bushes will be about 2 meters high and in a few years we will be able to harvest lots of useful and tasty berries.
Reality surpasses the dream!
The summer goes by and it grows so much that it cracks in the flower beds, and there will be many coffee breaks on the new patio. Think that this was just an ordinary, boring piece of lawn and now I can sit in my little secret corner, surrounded by flowers and the scent of flowers. I'm really happy with how everything turned out!