Gardendipity's Florida Friendly Garden in West Central Florida

Welcome to my West Central Florida Garden!

These are my adventures as I try to create a Florida Friendly garden. It's a lot of trial and error, but I'm having fun with the process. Our garden is designed to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and of course our regular Florida birds and wildlife. Thanks for dropping by, I hope you get some ideas for your own garden here!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Paving the way for a friend

          I have a friend who is thinking of adding a paved garden path to her lovely backyard garden. Over five years ago my husband and I put in a patio and garden path using pavers from Home Depot and Lowes.  The entire project cost less than $600, and we did it a little at a time to spread out the cost and the work.

     I hope that seeing photos of our paver project will give our friend some ideas for her own garden path and help her in the decision-making process.  Maybe there are others of you out there who are also looking for garden path ideas and I hope my photos will be of some assistance to you.   

     We didn't prepare the foundation beneath the pavers at all, we just leveled the dirt as best we could and laid the pavers on top, then worked with the pavers until they were as level as we could get them.  The path and patios have held up pretty well over time.  Frankly, the hardest part was carrying the heavy pavers from the car to the back yard.
     The photo above gives an overview of our paver project.  The green metal thing in the foreground is the top of our garden swing.  We made this patio an ample size.  Along the garden path there are three much smaller little "patio" areas with room to stand or sit, do some gardening work or just pause to look around.  I highly recommend incorporating some little areas like this if your garden path is going to be narrow.
     This is where the path begins, this is what you see when you step through the patio door.  The heart-shaped stepping stone project is unfinished.  Actually, I am not yet really sure of what I want to do with the stepping stone project so it sits there looking forgotten while I think about it.
         From the screen door, the large patio is on the left. 
     This is the walkway to the patio. We made this part of the path wider so we could carry dinner trays to the patio without having to watch our steps lest we fall off the path.
     From the patio door, here's the garden path.  The path runs the length of the house, then goes around the corner of the house to end at a tiny patio just large enough for two chairs, which looks out over the pond next door.
     Here's the first little tiny "patio" area, it's been a handy place to lay my gardening tools while I weed or do other gardening work.  Also, if you have someone walking (single-file) down the path, it's a place where both people can pause and stand together to talk.
     This is the next stop on the garden path.  It's a larger patio which comfortably holds two chairs and several pots.  This little patio area is awaiting its turn for the annual Spring Sprucing Up.  I haven't got this far down the path yet in my garden work.  We are thinking of putting a potting bench on this patio one day (we don't have one yet, but it's on our wish list).  Beyond this patio the path begins to turn around the corner of the house.
     Here's a close-up of the patio.  The "garden art" used to be a pedestal for a garden gazing ball. The pedestal fell over and partially split at the seems, so I broke it in half and put it in the garden bed.  The base of the pedestal stayed together and I am using it as a planter on the garden table.  The plant above is a Lilly Pad begonia which is coming back from the freezes, usually it is huge.
     Journey's End.  Here the path winds around the corner of the house.  If you look carefully you can see another tiny "work" patio in the middle of the bend just to the right of the bird bath. At the far right of the photo you can see a chair leg peeking through from the small patio which marks the end of the garden path.  This little patio is just wide enough to fit two chairs, and it overlooks the pond next door.
     This is the view looking back toward the large patio. The two red chairs are beside the screen door.  We just got the fountain last year, it was on sale for $87 at Home Depot.  Since mid-January I have been working on a new backyard project which consists of creating a grass garden path which starts at the unfinished stepping-stone project and winds around the fountain and several new garden beds.  We also put up a hammock last week that has been a BIG distraction from the gardening work I'm supposed to be doing.  I'm close to finishing (as much as any garden can ever be finished) and then I'll post some more photos.