Patio (Part 3)

  One year later and the patio is nearing completion. We took a short break from basic excavation in Part 1 and construction in Part 2. After the cold of the winter, some technological upgrades over the winter and a visit to some Buenos Fuentes, we were ready to do Part 3, Decorations. We finished Ed's fountain and are prepping the pillar foundations, too.

  Click for a Larger Image This is July 10, 2011. Most of the work during the spring and early summer was focused on getting some green stuff in to offset the brown and blue rock. We also need a little orange stuff to hold the green things. Note the guy-wires holding the lights - two different kinds. More on that later.

  A view to the left. There are a bunch of little bushes in $25 holes. You may also note some of the same bushes on the other side along the path. Those are free holes. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here are some massive footers to hold garden pillars which will go in soon. These 14"x14" formed rock behemoths extend way down, either to communications conduit or water conduit (Drains). You can also see the $26/yard ground-up mulch from the lady's plant and nursery center. Its much better than the $3.50/yard mulch heaped into the Dump Truck by the CAT966 rubber tire loader at the wood yard.

  Here's a better view of the free holes. All those little ball bushes along the walkway are planted in nice new dirt mixed with rotting wood chips that replaced the impenetrable gooey clay, all somehow handled by the Dump Truck and the Earthforce Backhoe Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here's Ed the Statue. He holds a scaley fish that's spraying water from his mouth. The water comes from a big pool below the mill wheel that Ed is standing on. Ed's fish is powered by electricity from the black box on the side of the house, that is commanded to turn on and off from inside the house using cool Insteon stuff.

  Speaking of electricity, here is how we light the place. See those plugs in the soffit to the left of the white speaker? Each one is controlled by other Insteon switches in the house. Using programming on the ISY-99 Home Automation controller, I made a button that activates the Patio. The one button turns on the fountain, turns on audio, turns on wireless internet, sets these string lights to start fading up at dusk and, the coolest part, turns off those big flood lights on the right so as not to spoil the serenity made by all the other stuff. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image A view from the yard. Here you can see more round bushes planted in $15 holes. You can see the three strings with lights. Two come on at dusk to about half brightness. The other, center one is controlled separately in the event we need more light to clean up the crap we spill cause the other ones were too dim.

  Here's the view from the other side, on the Front Garage Walkway. You can see the little boxwoods have been planted. There is also a winter (or really early spring) plant in the corner of the bay window. You can also see Ed from the back. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image This is also from the Front Walkway. This is the little picket fence that we put in many, many years ago (about eight). Its had lots of changes, the most significant being these giant bushes in front. Click on that patio picture to wait a long time and see a big version.

  To catch up on Part 1 or Part 3, click below:

Patio Part 1

Patio Part 2