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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Backyard Retreat: Part 1, the Gathering

Our tax refund was pretty large… and so begins a new project at FAR Manor. Like many projects, this is one I had in mind for a good long while, but only now is it beginning to take root. With Mason loving to get outside and play, this is another good incentive.

I’ve been wanting a patio for a while. Actually, what I want is a complete outdoor kitchen, so we can cook through the summer without heating up the house, but it can start with the patio. Mrs. Fetched is somewhat leery of being outside much, because the bugs eat her — which is odd, because she grew up on a farm. You’d think she would be used to the great outdoors, huh? To make life easier on her, I have a screened-in gazebo thing (actually a permanent screen tent) as part of the project.

But first comes the patio. I had planned at first to go with the traditional paving stone, but then I saw these Envirotile things. They’re made of recycled tires, but compared to stone they’re relatively soft. If Mason (or anyone else) were to faceplant on this, it would hurt a lot less than a faceplant on stone. They clip together, which makes installation fairly simple, and then they dropped in price by a couple bucks between the time I found them and when I was ready to buy them. WIN!

We also need a place to sit, and this is what we settled on. Both of us wanted a firepit table, and this one has a cover so we can use the entire surface when we don’t have a fire. It should extend the “hanging out on the patio” season well into the fall.

OK, we have the rubber “stones,” we have something to park our butts in, now we just have to level out a spot for the patio. I think we’re going to put it behind the shrub at left center, next to the bird bath. That end of the house has a small flight of steps coming out of Sprite’s porch down to the ground. Very few plants are fond of that area, so we won’t have to worry about weeds too much.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which will likely get us near completion!


  1. Wow, those stones sound amazing and your backyard looks like a lovely site. Good luck on your project!

  2. Very cool! I'm hoping for a patio someday ... and an outdoor kitchen (to be completed this summer (crosses fingers ;). I'll look forward to seeing how yours shapes up ;).

  3. Hi all!

    Faboo, the place came pre-landscaped, although one or both of the previous owners were fond of aggressive invasive plants. In this area, that includes holly trees. :-P

    Wendy, you'll have to post pics too! So you're doing the kitchen first & the patio later? Kind of the opposite of me.


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