Saturday, October 18, 2008
Not wanting to waste resources for the landscaping, I came up with a design that used as many local and recycled materials as possible. Starting with the entryway, I built a platform out of treated lumber (leftover from the barn framing) and covered it with old concrete slabs that we unearthed during the site excavation last year. The platform was skirted with more of the old bricks from the original barn. Next I dug a curved pathway leading around the silo, and partially filled it with 'fines' from the nearby iron mining operations (I believe it is created during the blasting operations, but not sure). Then I finished the pathway using Urbanite (concrete pieces from old sidewalks) that I've been collecting over the summer from various places. The spaces between the 'stones' were filled with more of the mining sand. Due to the irregular thickness and shapes of the urbanite, it took a tremendous amount of time to build it, but the end result has a nice look. Finally, the ground was covered with a layer of wood chips that came from the city work crews (they run the branches of cleared trees through a wood chipper, then haul them to the burn pile). Other than the roll of landscaping fabric that went under the mulch, everything for this project has been recycled and locally-collected. I figured that I used about 2 cubic yards of recycled urbanite to make this pathway, which helps to offset the 15 cubic yards of concrete required to pour the barn slab last year. The ground will remain pervious and we won't have any more grass to mow than we did before. In the spring, we can plant some flowers and schrubs in the mulched area, but for now this will have to do (winter is coming!).