“Tortillas in the Silvermist”

by ESP on February 16, 2013 · 7 comments

Tortillas in the Silvermist

This has to be one of the most ridiculous titles of any post I have written to date.

I have been laying a lot of Silvermist flagstone recently, about 11 leg-aching pallets of it to be precise and that is an awful lot of squats and nipped fingers.



Let me back up a little.


This design and installation called for a significant reduction in lawn, especially where the grass was continuously struggling. This metal edging was first on my list to go.


At the rear of the property there were a number of existing structures (that were to be removed) and large shade trees,


an area where people naturally congregate to escape the heat of the Texas star.


The rest of the space up to the house was a blank canvas, a veritable small field of turf that the client wished to reduce, leaving select areas for child-play and the occasional summer…

vintage slip n slide ad from 1961

Well, you would not want to do this on decomposed granite after all.


Some other features on the client’s wish-list included a water feature, an entertainment patio and an area to relax in and read a book.


Pulled from Google Maps, this is the plan I submitted to break up the space.

Areas were cleared and prepped,


existing structures removed,


their foundations heaved from the ground.

I laid out soaker hoses to sculpt contours and assess spacial proportions,


before the removal of the turf began.

In keeping with the scale of the property,

some Bedrock-sized moss boulders were carefully placed at a few key eye-landing points around the property.

“Toes clear Barney?…You betcha Fred.”


An equally substantial rock was drilled, plumbed and positioned on cinder-blocks for the bubble fountain.


Here it is naturalized with a backdrop bed of roses from the Antique Rose Emporium, https://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/

The blue-grey of the Mexican beach pebbles references the color of the silvermist, the brown hues in the flagstone and moss boulders works with the color of the decomposed granite that was spread along the back fence line. When the remaining grass greens up, the contrast between these mediums will increase.



Sweeping pathways break up the space. I used smaller areas of flagstone as a decorative element to separate different aggregates,


and naturally I had to introduce a corner stock tank…the future home of a stand of cattails. (I made sure the sticker was hidden from view.)


This fledgling cypress grove will function as a privacy screen and future seclusion room as it matures.


The addition of a new screened-in porch on the side of the house and the introduction of multiple new planting beds will soften and naturalize the scheme over time, the porch providing bug-free enjoyment of the new space.

Now, where are those…


Back in the Patch:


All hell was breaking loose…



Calm down BL, and you are in need of a haircut if you don’t mind my saying.

Take a look, it is…………….LEAKING!!!

It appears that the frost bitten “unmentionable”  from a few posts back has taken a disgusting turn for the worse:

Lady In A Cage


It has apparently toppled over and is now revealing a dark glutenous interior that I immediately retreated from. If you missed the previous post this is what can happen to a frost bitten pine cone cactus. Brrr.


I just hope our resident house-elf does not come across this oozing delicacy or I fear he will be in for another trip to the sink of shame.

I could of course dig it out, but I am not going to.


Mess my shovel up it would.

Talking about messing things up. No sooner had I laid out this brick patio then some traveling folk immediately moved in,


making themselves quite at home.


Lá breithe sona duit, miss P!

…Now, get ah yer junk af me patio if ye knaw whats good fer ya. 


These two photos just appeared the other day on my photostream:


This one was strange enough, but this next one I had to

study for some time to figure out how he achieved it.

Back in the garden:


My mountain laurel has started to produce its first blooms this week.


And the “Jewels of Opar” are once again emerging from the jungle floor.



Is that the best you can do Tarzan? Where is the heart?

Stay Tuned for:

“Brick Circles”


All material © 2013 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.


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1 Bob Pool February 17, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Wow, just wow. That lawn redo is amazing. What an unbelievable change and all for the good. I really like it a lot. The walk ways are beautiful, but then I like rocks. Especially big rocks. Did you haul every thing back there and put it in by hand?

2 ESP February 18, 2013 at 8:17 am

Thanks Bob.

The huge rocks were laid with a spider, there was no getting these monsters onto a dolly!

Everything else was brought in on pallets or hoppers and dropped at strategic locations around the property before being laid / spread.

3 Les February 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I love it when people want lawn removed.

4 ESP February 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Me too Les, though I wish there was an easy way to remove it.

5 Pam/Digging February 26, 2013 at 12:54 am

It’s fun to see your design projects brought to life, ESP. Looking good, as always. It’s all about ripping out lawn these days, isn’t it?

6 ESP March 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Thanks Pam.
It certainly is. I just took out another one this week. Pics soon.

7 Heather/xericstyle March 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

Your new brickwork looks so wonderful! Is that grey santolina in the Mountain Laurel bed? Is your soil clay’ish? Wanting to use it…wondering how much I need to ammend…

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