levelling out for abby

Today’s mini-project:

Our senior cocker spaniel, Abby, has been blind for some time. Last year, I set a paver patio extension off of the lower landing of our back stairs, since the slope down to the fence was tripping her up often.

As it goes with blind old dogs, she has taken to hugging the fence line and stepping off the pavers at the steepest place. At the request of my husband, and to avoid broken bones in a teenage dog, this morning I set about further terracing to break up the step drop off from the paver landing.

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Above is the “during” photo because I never remember the before. I dug out ruts for the cast border stones to contain the pea gravel. Once set and marked in place, I removed the border stones and cut, laid, and pinned barrier cloth, replaced the border stones and filled the areas with gravel.

The results are below. It is not a perfect finished solution. I suspect the slope of the lower gravel level is too much and the gravel will slide, but this is a marked improvement. Also, this is a project I have to work on in between potty breaks, as I block entirely the access from the house to the backyard when I work on it.

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I enjoy the varied levels of the extension; a small scale echo of the multiple level gardens forming in the side yard and lower lot. The paver patio utilizes new pavers, pavers we brought from the old house (from a project that never got installed), and some old worn pavers dug up from the lower lot (presumably from the backyard of the house that is no longer there); finding a path that blends the old and worn and new into our wabi-sabi life.

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