Fixing a muddy mess

With the garden covered by varied degrees of snow and ice in recent weeks, the thinly grassed lawn connecting to the rear garden has become a muddy mess. The narrow passageway from the driveway to the garden has long been a problem, with a poor stand of neglected turf and too much foot traffic. At the first sign of trouble I should have veered the long way around, but of course, I didn’t.

With the lawn beyond repair, and never an area that inspired me, I’ve recently considered changes that would combine paving, small granite boulders, and gravel to cope with the mud. But, since this muddy slope has become too treacherous to walk on without extreme care, I have now quickly laid granite flagging, nestled into the mud, parallel to the stone wall. A turn was necessary to veer around the wide spreading Fernleaf Japanese maple, and then the path ends in a small section of lawn that is somewhat flatter and wider (also poor, but not destroyed). This was a design as I go project, and while it was hastily prepared and executed, I expect that only minor modifications will be necessary a month from now. For now, I can make it into the rear garden without slip sliding, unless of course, it is ice covered which it has been since the morning after the flagging was laid.

Without a doubt, I am overly anxious for spring’s arrival. This task should have been delayed until a milder afternoon, but with slippery mud and snow scheduled to arrive later that night (that became ice, not snow), I loaded the flagging with plans to stack it neatly at the edge of the driveway. But as often happens, I became possessed by uncontrollable forces that compelled me to labor into the fading light, laying the granite flagging.

The gravel and boulders, and new planting will wait for a better day. I have an idea how this will go. The only must is for the granite path to be wide enough for a mower to get to the small sections of lawn in the rear garden. The width will be covered by the flagging and gravel, and possibly even a small section of turf since I dislike wide areas of gravel. Of course, there will be plants in the narrow planting area, but I’ll work that out on a sunny and mild afternoon soon to come.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Lucy says:

    I’m interested in seeing how you finish this. I love works-in-progress type things. So much more useful than the glamor shot of the finished project.

    1. Dave says:

      I hope that the after photo comes in a few weeks. Since this will be access to a wide mower, the path will not be as narrow and overgrown as I’d like.

  2. Mike Bingham says:

    Hi Dave,
    I enjoy your posts.
    I’m trying out raised bed gardening for my vegetables and herbs.
    Any advice you can share or a post on the topic will be greatly appreciated.
    Zone 7a
    Michael Bingham
    Sent from my iPad

    1. Dave says:

      I gave up growing vegetables years ago, and now the garden’s too shady. I get a few handfuls, birds get the rest, from three blueberries growing in the sunny, but damp rear garden, so I don’t have much to offer.

  3. I have a similar muddy mess area leading from one part of my garden to another, and I’m thinking of taking a similar approach with irregular bluestone flagging, planted in between with a ground cover that can tolerate shade and damp.

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