It’s a battle in my garden – the maple tree roots versus me. They are powerful and I am often stymied as I cannot dig in the soil due to the deep and twisted mess that lies right below the surface. When installing my gate arbor, the workers ended up cutting the cable television (on game day no less) for the entire neighborhood because they had to use a power saw to get through the danged roots.
Gardeners often fight a lengthy battle with tree roots like I have, but perhaps there’s an interesting – and green – solution – - float a patio on top of the roots.
Below is a series of pictures that show how I used reclaimed sand, bricks, and stone (which would have gone into the landfill) to build a patio over the maple tree root mess I have in the back yard garden. If you wanted something more permanent, you could certainly make a cement patio. However, I felt a “floating” patio would work better for this situation as roots grow over the years and I might want to add to the patio as well.
HOW TO BUILD IT – -
Step One – Dig a six to eight inch trench around the area you plan to put your patio. This will allow standing water to drain off of your patio.
Step Two – Cover with a permeable cloth cover of some kind which will allow water to drain through, but prevent worms from coming through and mixing the rock base.
Step Three – Arrange reclaimed material of all types in an attractive pattern on top of the fabric.
Step Four – Fill with a base of sand and rough gravel to help steady the reclaimed materials. I went to a big box store and bought all the broken bags of sand and rocks at a discounted price.
Step Five (no picture for this step) – Pour pea gravel over the top – I also used old half-empty bags from one of the big box home stores which I bought for super-cheap. The gravel makes the patio “less firm” in some ways, but it is quaint and a creative way to reuse materials that would have been thrown away.
I love the sustainable patio and maintenance is simply blowing the leaves off the top of the patio in both the spring and summer plus pulling any weeds that seed themselves from the top. It has been up now for several years and is very easy to take care of.
What do you think? Want to try building a green garden solution and save the landfill at the same time?