Stay-put Garden Project Remedies

By Casey Bartlett, Marketing Manager for Willamette Graystone

[Editor’s note: This article was of interest to me because often the cost of using concrete and rock materials for a garden project is a mystery. Casey’s information suggests that pre-formed concrete circles and fire pits, plus some DIY elbow grease, are quite affordable. Willamette Graystone is a Yard, Garden & Patio Show sponsor and many of the paving materials you’ll see in the Showcase Gardens are provided by the company.]

My wife and I bought our first home during the peak of a seller’s market, back when houses were selling within hours, not months and years like they are now. We missed out on three other houses we had put offers on and we were determined to get this one even though it needed a lot of work.

Fast forward five years, two dogs and one baby later and we are ready to move, but it’s not in the cards. The current market value of our home doesn’t allow us to sell our home and move up. We’re reconciled to the fact that we need to stay put. It doesn’t make sense to invest big dollars in a major remodel or an addition. However, there are some low cost projects that can make our home and garden more enjoyable while we are here.

People assume that since I work for Willamette Graystone my backyard is beautifully landscaped with paver patios and walkways, raised garden beds, and stone work galore. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. Our money went into the interior of the home and the front yard when we bought the house and we just never got around to fixing up the backyard. This spring I promised my wife that will change.

As soon as we get a little sunshine in our forecast, we’re going to rip out the eyesore of a deck and replace it with a circle kit paver patio. Willamette Graystone sells everything needed to create a 10’ diameter patio, all nicely packaged on one pallet. And the best part is: no cutting! The kit comes with multiple shapes designed to make a circle. With a little bit of sweat and digging over a couple of weekends, we can put in a nice-sized paver patio for around $300 (gravel and sand prices vary by area).

Phase two of our backyard project will be to add a fire pit kit to our patio. A pre-packaged kit includes a steel ring and enough stackable retaining wall blocks to encompass it. Kits are priced at $300 and can be assembled in no time. We’ll be enjoying cozy campfires and s’mores this summer without having to pack up the camper!

The third and final phase of our project will be to add two simple curved sitting benches around the fire pit. (There are no kits for the benches because the design and layout options are virtually limitless.) Using a stackable Free Standing Wall system, sitting benches can be easily built on top of the pavers and be either curved or straight.

Breaking these projects up makes them affordable and we don’t have to incur all of the costs at once.

Stop by the Willamette Graystone booth (#647) at the Yard, Garden & Patio Show and we’ll have examples of all three projects on display. While you’re there, put your name in our raffle and enter to win a FREE Fire Pit Kit! Starting in April, Willamette Graystone will host free do-it-yourself seminars at each of our locations. You’ll learn how to build all three of these simple projects. See you at the show!