Pavers For A Rain Barrel

Back Yard

A Firm Foundation

Finally, nearly three full months into 2024, we have our first outdoor project of the year. The last outdoor project way back in October when we cleaned up the back porch exterior.  It's not a major project, it's not very complicated and it didn't take very long, so you'd think this post wouldn't be very long.  But you may know that I sometimes take the simplest of projects and create some of the longest posts - that'll probably end up happening here.  So, without further ado, let's get into it.

A Bit of Back Story 

The yards at 173 are rife, with flowers and bushes and plants just about everywhere you look, but not in a sloppy or overcrowded way.  This has been a slowly developed passion, nearly three decades in the making!  Our very first rain barrel can be seen in this picture taken probably around 1999 or 2000-ish.  It was the half barrel type and was originally planned to be a water feature,  you know- water plants, maybe a little waterfall.   But for whatever reason, the plan changed to rain barrel. 

It worked out well,  but the watering demands grew along with the gardens. We could have lugged a hose around the yard but sometime before 2011, the idea came up to use an old trash can as a second rain barrel.  I cut a hole for the water to empty into from the downspout, stapled in a piece of window screen to keep the mosquitoes out, and installed a spigot to control the overflow.  

Then, with no idea what prompted me back then, sometime in 2020 it dawned on me to check Craigslist to see if anyone was selling a rain barrel.  I swear only took a couple minutes and I came across a local lady selling two of them - perfect!  

When we look deeply into the heart of a flower, we see clouds, sunshine, minerals, time, the earth, and everything else in the cosmos in it. Without clouds there could be no rain, and without rain there would be no flower. — Nhat Hahn

So I bought both, but it wasn't 'til spring of '21 that we actually got them into circulation.  One of them was placed next to the front porch to collect rain off the front porch roof and because it's in close proximity to a bunch of the bushes and flower beds in the side and front yards.

The other is in the back yard next to the carport and services the vegetable garden and, with the old trash can rain barrel, helps with the back yard flower beds and bushes.

And just for fun - sometimes the rain barrels serve other functions like a vegetable stand... not really - I just like the picture!

A small collection of March posts over the years
The Laundry Room Ceiling Goes Up - March 2014
Partial Reveal of the Dining Room Table - March 2015
✤ Made at 173: A Hand Plane Rack - March 2020
The Plant Stand - March 2016
Here's on from April 2016 - I tried to resist immediate gratification

Finally - To the Point

And now, at long last, we come to the purpose of this entire post period.  It was in the spring of '23 we noticed that the rain barrel by the carport was beginning to tilt backwards, ever so slightly.  So I was at Lowe's one day and I had an idea so I picked up four pavers to match the ones we've used with other projects (which I'll post about sometime).  I don't know why we didn't get around to setting those pavers... oh yes, I do...

The reason we didn't end up putting the pavers in place last year was because, at the time that I bought the pavers, the barrel was full of water and in no time at all we were in the midst of summer.  So, it just became one of those situations where we'd just wait until the next opportunity which turned out to be last week.  The first thing we did when we got started on this little project was to put the base in place, just to get a sense of positioning and how big of an area we would need to dig.

Once that was done, we laid out the pavers very loosely in the area just to get a sense of how to position them in the yard, and how close to the carport it would need to be.

And I gotta tell you I'm shocked how much dirt had to be dug up for this little spot.  As you can see, we only went down maybe six inches at the most and pulled out an entire wheelbarrow full of dirt.  I know - that's not a lot of dirt, it was just more than I would have thought!

After that it was very simple. First we laid down some patio gravel, I think they call it, and leveled that off.  Then a bag and a half of leveling sand and - just like that - the project was done.

And here it is all ready for summer 2024 and I think we're taking bets on how fast it takes the grass to fill in the extra soil you see around the pavers.  I'm thinking probably by June we'll have grass there and it'll look like these little these pavers had always been there.

And so that does it for the first outdoor project of 2024.  I think the post took longer to write than the project itself took to complete. But again, that's just the way I roll. Hey, thanks for stopping by and - we'll see you next time!
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