Monday, August 12, 2013

Let the Summer Begin

I mentioned a while ago something about k-ster pressure washing the patio and then I never got back to you.  That's because it's taken THAT LONG to get this thing finished.

When k-ster did the patio several years ago, he mentioned wanting to put down something like RoundUp under the bricks to prevent weeds from growing through it.  I went bananas, as you would expect and said no way, absolutely not, I will pull out every single weed if I have to. We are not going to put down RoundUp.

And we didn't.

And over time, the seeds came and the weeds grew.  I went through phases of being really good about removing them.  Then the moss came and that wasn't so easy.  Plus, I kind of like the idea of the moss cementing everything together.

But then the weeds kept growing and the grasses started coming and it was really messy.  I wasn't getting them pulled out fast enough and it was just ugly out there.  You'd sit at the table and feel the grass tickle you which really defeats the whole purpose of a patio.

So, k-ster told me about this polymeric sand that he's been using in patios to keep the weeds out.  Supposedly this magic sand will deter weeds and will slow down the possibility that moss will take root.  It has something in it (polymers, I would assume, though what that means is really a mystery to this non-chemist) that makes the sand sort of crusty.

In order to put down this sand, we had to clear the patio and then remove all of the weeds and as much of the current sand as possible.  K-ster borrowed a pressure washer and got to work blowing it all out a few times.  Then I went to work with an awl and dug out all those mosses and weeds.

And then time stood still and we didn't do anything.  All of the furniture stayed off the patio and it looked like this.

Kind of depressing.  And every few days, I'd ask when we were going to finish.  It's a little time consuming, putting down the new polymeric sand, so it had to be when there was time to put it down, use a blower to blow it into the cracks and then wet it a few times to make it work.

In the meantime, more weeds kept coming and I was out there pulling them out and feeling like it was an endless battle.

Yesterday, k-ster put it down and I'm in love with it at the moment.

It looks like regular sand, so the polymers must be invisibile.  But, when I touch it, it's hard like cement.  I guess that over time, it will lose its cement-like properties and we'll probably have to do it again, but over time, regular sand goes away too, so I don't think it's a big deal.

The plants are finally back in their rightful places and already looking a little happy, though they've suffered this summer.  They aren't as luscious as they would normally be right now because I didn't treat them as nicely as I should have.  I kept thinking we'd be putting everything back together really soon, so I didn't pay much attention to how much sun and water they were getting.  We just sort of pushed everything onto the grass and scattered the plants all over the yard.

We had an umbrella that met its demise just before we moved everything off the patio, so now I have to see if I can get an end of summer deal on one before they put them away for the winter.  It really is an essential part of the patio because it would be impossible to sit out there in the middle of the day without it.

I've felt very weird all summer without the normal patioscape in front of me!  Now that it's August 12th, I suppose summer can begin.  Just as the plants really start blossoming, it will be time to bring them inside for the winter.

Can someone tell me who stole my summer from me when I wasn't looking????

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