progress, and fireflies

Progress on the fire pit project has continued. I have been productive as the heat climbs by starting early in the day, working for short intervals, moving indoors during the high heat of the day, and taking advantage of the cool evenings at the end of the day.

Last June:


I found the pavers for the fire ring at the closest Habitat ReStore for a great price. At first, I just off-stacked them to the pad I had made for the previous metal fire ring.

It wasn’t long before I started shaving the weeds surrounding the pit area. I expanded the pad to extend into what will become the seating area. I utilized rocks, old busted pavers, and old driveway chunks (concrete and asphalt) that I had been digging up from elsewhere in the lot. These random shapes helped to bridge the gaps as I let the grid of the new pavers radiate out at different angles around the ring.


Then I found a tumbled edging piece at Home Depot. I roughed out an outer perimeter, knowing it would have to be properly marked from center.


Last week:


I disassembled the ring to mortar the pieces together. My first time using quikrete for something other than setting posts. I will call it a success, even though I may not have used enough mortar between pieces at the start. We shall see how it holds together over time.

I also cleared away most of the brick remaining from our rehabbing neighbor’s generous donation. I held onto the few disintegrating bricks to add into the gravel of the seating area.


I also marked out the outer perimeter properly, using a tomato stake, string, and a can of spray paint. One can faintly see bits of white in the grass in the photo below.



I started digging out the perimeter and shaving away the grass, in the seating around as well as what will become the lower landing for the stairs down from the driveway.

I roughed in the tumbled border edging.


This morning:


I began laying down barrier cloth and setting the edge stones, began roughing in the cobblestone edging for the landing terraces, and shaved out as much grass and dirt as I could stand before the day began to heat up. I made faster work of it considering the nightly showers we’ve been getting soften up the topsoil.

This evening:


I extended the barrier cloth into the landing area, spread paver sand, and began setting pavers into both the seating area and the lower terrace of the landing. Within the seating area, I’ve kept the pavers widely spaced so I can fill the gaps with pea gravel, which will also extend into larger areas of the circle.

The pavers on the landing terraces are more tightly packed, and those thinner gaps will be filled with sand.

Overall, I’m pleased and quite excited with the progress and the developing look, scale, and feel of the project. The project overall is one-of-a-kind. Re-using wedge pavers for the ring as well as working in found rocks and debris from the lot will help to set the tone of our grounds and gardens as guests step in for a visit to our wabi-sabi life.

Plus: Fireflies!

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