Three years ago, my Mother-in-Law, Anna, moved into the house behind us after my Father-in-Law passed away. Anna was married for over 60 years. She left her parent’s home when she was 19 years old and escaped from Hungary with her new husband, my Father-in-Law, during the 1956 Uprising. She’s never lived alone. Until now.
What a blessing when the house behind us went on the market. Anna loved the house and bought it.
After Anna moved in, we made an opening in the fence, and this summer, we built a path connecting our two homes. The hope is to make the physical space between us seem smaller. I think we did just that, and I’m happy to share some highlights.
Remove the Sod
The first step in this project was clearing the sod. This is always my least favorite part of any garden project. Luckily, this was pretty easy because the grass was struggling to survive in the shade of the Red Buds.
Step 2: Remove the Top 3-4 Inches of Soil
The next step was to remove roughly 3-4 inches of soil. We cleared a ton of roots and made sure the base was flat and solid.
Step 3: Add Leveling Sand
Leveling sand is like tiny bits of crushed concrete. The purpose is to place it on the ground to create a flat surface for the patio blocks.
Step 4: Prepare the Leveling Sand
The best part of this project was watching Tom fabricate the tools we needed to do the job. He built a level and pounding tool using scrap wood from previous projects.
Step 5: Lay Patio Blocks
This step was the hardest from a physical labor point of view. We used 2 ft. x 2 ft. cement blocks and they weighed a lot! It is critical to take your time during this step to ensure your blocks are level and straight.
Step 6: Fill Any Extra Space with Gravel or Sand
We wanted our path to be even with the ground, so we used the left over leveling sand to create a level surface. We will likely change this to gravel in the future, but for now the sand works perfectly.
Step 7: Edge the Path to Keep the Sand In Place
We lined to edge of the path using bricks we had on hand. We will likely replace the bricks with metal edging at some point, but the bricks hold the sand in place perfectly for now.
There you have it. This is how we installed our garden path. I never imagined what a difference opening up the fence and adding a path would make. These simple changes make the two properties feel closer and that was the whole point. Happy gardening!