Friday, June 16, 2006

Hypertufa workshop

Dan and I comitted to offering a hypertufa workshop to some of his teaching colleagues early next month. I am really looking forward to it, but realized, I'd better get my hypertufa house in order first!

Last night Dan and I brought out from storage the remainder of our tufa treasures. We filled 2 of the birdbaths, but have one remaining to set up and fill, I want to make a new base for it. I planted a collection of suculents in one of the tufa pots a few days ago, it is high time to fill the rest with flowers.

What I really want to do before the workshop, though, is build a tufa pathway in the front garden. Much of the soil there is bank run gravel, with a thin layer of topsoil over it, and whatever compost spilled over from our improvement efforts. Between the bad soil, and the shady site, the lawn in the front is mostly weeds, and mowing the path between the garden beds is tedious -- although much less tedious than mowing the lawn before the beds were created.

Given that, I think it is the perfect site to experiment with a hypertufa "stone" path. We will run the path from the brick front step, through the beds to the lilacs. The plan is to dig flagstone shaped holes in the lawn, removing the sod and exposing the gravelly base. We then wet the base well, then fill the holes with hypertufa mixture, and cover with plastic to cure, watering the edges well for the next 24 hours to prevent the area from wicking moisture away from the hypertufa. I hope to work on it this weekend, after we do some more work in the vegetable garden.

Over time, it will get mossy as the peat decomposes, and it will look more natural and I think blend in really well with the house. If it works, then we move on the the rest of the back yard. I really will need a cement mixer.

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