Day four started out a lot like Day 3, with swarms of workers throughout the front and backyards working diligently at their assigned tasks.
In order to create an opening from the front porch to the new patio a portion of the pony wall had to be removed then patched on each end to look as if it were original. Today the hardscape crew demo’d the section of wall and finished prepping the front and side walkway areas so they could begin laying pavers.
The curbing had completely cured from the night before so the softscape crew placed all the sod in the backyard, planted plants in their respective locations and added the top dressing of landscape rock to give it all a fresh look. The backyard was complete!
By the end of the day the hardscape crew completed a portion of the patio pavers and nearly all the steps and side walkway before quitting time. They also started construction of the pillar caps which we added to the remaining pony wall where we planned to add decorative flagstone caps for flower pots. Jeff brought out a few pieces of flagstone for us to choose from which would finish make up the caps. Flagstone is traditionally very pink in tone but he managed to find a few pieces that were more rust/slate in color which worked ~ I really dislike the color pink which proved to cause a big problem with the landscape rocks after the job was complete, but more on that later.
It was Friday now and work was suspended throughout the weekend. In the coming week the goal was to finish the pavers, complete the masonry work on the pony wall, finish the flagstone caps, place the boulders and final plants and top dress the landscape rock in the frontyard.
At the end of the day we had all of the days questions written down so they could be discussed and resolved prior to the weekend. These included: it appeared the paver patio was slanting toward the house, the brass clean out fitting was not flush to the pavers as we were told it would be, we did not have a user guide with our new watering system unit and my original pink tone landscape rock was bugging the crap out of me as it totally fought the newer earth tone colors of the other materials. But that was my issue to be resolved later. My most immediate concern was making sure the palm and the ocotillo were getting sufficient water as their projected survival rate was only about 50/50. We needed a review of how much water they needed so I called George.
He took the time to walk through the watering system with us as well as check each drip and valve to ensure all the new (and old) plants were getting sufficient water. It was the middle of June so the heat was obviously a concern. He also taught us what to look for as indicators of whether the palm was doing well or not. He said to regularly check the core fronds as they grew and if those remained green and healthy the palm would most likely make it. He suggested we spray the trunk and shoot water down inside the core each day to keep it properly hydrated. He also gave me a projected watering schedule for the plants after the two week mark which went from two full hours each day down to one then (after another week) to a traditional watering schedule.
Innovative Masonry’s team put a level on the patio and established it was indeed angled for proper run off away from the house and I was told they would look into a cover that would make the clean out more flush to the pavers but to this day that’s not been done. I decided to let that one go. All in all we looked good going in to the weekend. Curt said we’d be done by the following Wednesday which would make this an 7-day project not counting any punch list items to be dealt with afterward.
The backyard looked great and we were especially pleased with the sod. We had elected to go with a St. Augustine variety which both Curt and George had questioned along the way. But because we had this type of grass back east we knew how durable it was and how well it would hold up against the kids and dogs. Plus, it looks like a lush carpet and doesn’t require seeding or the other intense maintenance many of the other varieties require. You just water it accordingly for summer and winter and it looks fantastic all year long. It is slightly more expensive to purchase but well-worth the investment.