How do we fill a free Sunday at the O’C/T household? With 5000 pounds of gravel, of course!
We had two projects to do with all of that gravel. The first was pretty urgent: our alley. The alley behind our house is actually an easement alley, meaning that each of the neighbors owns the section that runs across their property, and we agree to let the others use it. The six houses have to do the snow removal and maintenance ourselves.
We are lucky enough to have the largest section and the part that’s on a slope. Over the past two summers, big rainstorms have washed out our part of the alley. A few weeks ago the crevasse got too bad to procrastinate any more; the alley was barely traverseable. The Toberman Trench, as we called it, was 70 feet long and over a foot deep in some places.
Sam and our friend Bryan get all of the credit for the alleyway job. While I was working on the front porch, they scooped up what had washed out, filled in the hole with that and the gravel we bought, and used a compactor to get it all packed in nice and tight. We hope it will hold up well for at least a few years.
(I think this photo belongs in a Ford ad. Gotta love our truck for projects like this.)
I helped out with part II: the parking pad. The space between our house and the next-door neighbor’s is narrow, shady, and weedy. I call it the ugly patch. The back portion adjoining our driveway is especially hideous because there’s some busted-up concrete, so even weeds are patchy. We think there used to be a parking pad there, and that’s exactly what we planned to do again. As I’ve written before, we will eventually join the parking pad to a French drain along the side and rain garden in front.
We put down some landscape cloth and then spread the remaining gravel across it.
We need to haul some more gravel and do another round of compacting, but the finished parking pad will look largely like this. Our garage is tiny and we have a lot of gadgets, so this will be a nicer place to store the snow blower, truck topper, etc. than our driveway. A big sheet of gravel may not be attractive but it’s much better than the ugly patch and a cluttered driveway.
All of that gravel made for an exhausting afternoon, especially for Sam. But we feel so good for having finished those grueling projects.