Of course I need another outdoor project! :) I have been wanting to build a patio in the backyard for some time, but have struggled with the best material options. There have been a few ideas floating around, but I was really starting to lean towards getting some nice flagstone and just going for it. It would be the most expensive option, but it would look great. However, Sunset Magazine recently posted an article and picture of a backyard that showed one of the ideas I have been thinking about: using concrete squares instead of stone with little green strips running in between.

That was tipping point for me. Seeing the finished product of that idea convinced me this was the better option. First off, it is a helluva lot cheaper. Second, I have a hunch it’s a bit more eco-friendly, since I am not asking anyone to pillage pieces of large natural stone from the earth. And finally, it will also help keep my yard rainwater-friendly. There will be small gaps, about 2″, between each square that I will plant with carpet thyme. It will be drought-tolerant, but it will also soak up the water running off the patio. I like this idea so much that we are planning on putting in a driveway based on the same concept.

I researched places to buy the concrete squares and stumbled onto Lowe’s website. They listed them fairly cheap, so I typed in my zip code and my local price was actually half off the earlier price – score! So I went ahead and ordered enough for the patio and the future driveway. All online. I didn’t even have to walk into the store. The power of “the internets”.

I figured someone would call me in a day or two to set up a time to drop off the materials. Well, the very next morning they called at 7:30am to let me know they were on their way. I don’t think I could be happier to get a call from anyone else at that time in the morning. 24 hours after placing my order online, they had been dropped off at my house. How easy is that? This makes me never want to set foot in a Home Depot ever again. Sorry, but that place drives me nuts and you can never find anyone to help you. Maybe Lowe’s is the same way in the store, but we don’t shop there often since it is further away.

This weekend is devoted to finishing the trellis/pergola/whatever you call it, and to putting the finishing touches on the coop. We might take a weekend off, but we will start in digging the last patches of sod probably by the end of the month. Perhaps mid/late-May we will have some final pictures to share? Just in time for the nice weather to roll in, our backyard plans should be getting wrapped up. And what a fabulous backyard party we shall throw!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson