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Mount Gretna Patio Project

December 24, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , Blog No comments

This fall we completed a nice little patio project in the Cornwall/Mount Gretna area.  The designed space was intended to provide an area where the homeowners and guests could relax, mingle and enjoy drinks around a central fire pit adjacent to the woods.  The space connects one larger patio area to the other end of the house to allow easier access as well as seclusion from high traffic areas of the house.

Enjoy the photos below and please comment!

Start of excavation.  We used the skid-steer loader, the CASE 1830.

Application of filtration/weed fabric and the beginning of 2A modified base stone, compacted every 2″ inches.

The first course of the wall was laid, which is the most important.  Each block must be ‘perfectly’ level and flush to the adjacent blocks to ensure levelness throughout the entire wall.  All blocks were glued together with concrete block adhesive for retaining walls.

More courses laid on the wall and the beginning installation of the drain pipes.  Most of the EP Henry wall blocks needed to be cut to follow the proper radius/curve of the wall.

A closer view of the low-voltage (LV) wire which we had to work up through the wall.  LED lighting will be installed later to light up the seating wall.


Once our base stone was at the proper grade, we then applied concrete sand and screeded that at 1″ thick across the patio space.  This provides a consistent sand bed to lay the pavers on top.


Once the sand was applied, we could start laying the pavers.  We used a 50/50 mix of 6″x6″ and 6″x9″ pavers and laid them in a random pattern.


We laid as many pavers as possible until all of the spaces left required cut ones.


Natural stone steps.



Natural, ‘Laurel Mountain’ flagstone steps and river stone and boulders to finish off the hardscape materials for this project.  The dry river bed was installed to add interest to the space as well as to function as a minor drain to remove surface flow water from the roof.  The surrounding roof does not have gutters or spouting, so before, water was eroding the soil below and splashing mud on the brick siding.  A 4″ perforated pipe was installed below the river stones/pebbles to better channel the water away from the source and into the lawn swale.



Plants consisted of: Rhododendron/white azaleas, Fothergilla gardenii ‘Mt Airy’, Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’, Microbiota decussata/Siberian cypress, Vaccinum corymbosum ‘Duke’/High-bush blueberry, Geranium ‘Rozanne’/Hardy geranium, Dryopteris erythrosora/Autumn fern, Symphotrichum ‘Purple Dome’/Purple aster, Astilbe ‘Sprite’, Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’, and Hosta tardiflora ‘Krossa Regal’.


The top end of the drains pictured in the beginning of the post.  The water is collected at the lower end of the patio and will drain out the bottom of the wall.  The wire is waiting to be spliced into the LED lights.  We will post pictures of the space in the dark once all of the lighting in the wall and surrounding areas are installed!


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Our next posts will feature a walk-through presentation of a patio completed at the Witmeyer residence, a tree planted in memorial of Ryan Edgell who passed away in early October and on a custom built lettuce growing box that we are building for a year-round lettuce greens garden.

Merry Christmas!

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