The Poor Man's Patio

| 3/4/2010 4:48:53 PM

A photo of Nebraska DaveThose that I have hung out with over the past year have heard me refer to the Poor Man’s Patio. This blog entry will explain what that is and how it came to be. It all started with a desire to improve the curb appeal for my house. Many years ago I planted a Spring garden by the front door. Colorful flowers including Crocus, Tulip, Daffodil, and Iris made the display spectacular during the spring weeks. As spring moved closer to summer the vibrant display would begin to wane, droop, and finally die. The dead carcasses from the once terrific display slowly became a weed patch as time moved into the dog days of summer. Something definitely had to be done.

The weed patch that once was flowers

With a plan in my head and shovel in hand the Poor Man’s Patio construction began. Through the summer weeks and into the fall weather, sweat dripped, dirt moved, and massive rocks were excavated. Neither wind nor rain nor hot weather would stop construction for long. Ok, yeah, well, don’t listen to the neighbors that would tell I you I sat on those rocks drinking coffee more than working. That wasn’t me that was my twin brother. Oh, wait, I don’t have a twin. Well, just don’t listen to the neighbors, OK? I was working when they weren’t looking.

A rock pile, or the patio in progress

Then with excavation nearing completion sights were set on the building of the retaining wall. Massive blocks were hauled in the little truck that could, my Ford Ranger, who I affectionately call Ranger Rick (Ricky for short). Shhhhhh, he doesn’t know he’s just a little truck. OK, you got me on that one they were only 50 pounds each, and we, Ricky and I, only hauled 10 at a time. I’d like to think that I was trying to give Ricky a break, but the real reason just might have been to give Old Nebraska Dave a break. Whew, all this talking about work is making me think about taking a break.

Wall construction begins

Jerry Greene
6/6/2010 12:14:49 AM

Speaking of fire pits, I just built my own. Very simply, I used a "Bud Wheel" from a semi-tractor trailer. I stopped at a salvage yard and purchased the steel wheel for $10. The wheel has holes on the inside which allow for ventilation for the fire when in place. I just placed the wheel on a level spot in my yard and surrounded it with two layers of interlocking retaining wall stones I had left over from a previous project. I gathered five Adirondack chairs and placed them in a semi-circle around the firepit and instantly created an outdoor room. It was simple, easy and quick. By the's a great place to sit down for conversation and coffee, if you drink it.

6/3/2010 4:09:44 PM

Wow! Looks great! And love the flowers; will be graduating to flowers next year-- So far they are proving more challenging than veggies!!

3/11/2010 8:28:27 AM

What a fine looking patio! The bench sure looks like the perfect place for a coffee break. Love the flowers around it too. You did a great job on it. GaFarmWoman Pam Life on a Southern Farm

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