Backyard Paver Patio

John & Ellen’s Backyard Paver Patio


We are excited to share this one with you all! If you ask almost anyone on the crew what their favorite part of their job is, they’ll tell you that its the satisfaction they feel after completing a project – especially when the end result looks drastically different! This project is definitely one of those pleasers. John & Ellen were tired of the view from their attached backyard deck, which looked down into their neighbors yard. When it came time to evaluate the condition of their deck, they began to consider lowering their outdoor living space to give them the privacy they were looking for.

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As we begin the project, our biggest concern (like many projects) is the drainage of the yard. Since we will be removing the deck and creating a new patio in its place, many areas of the yard will need to be reshaped to make sure rainwater flows where it needs to. To reach the elevated back door, we will be building a stoop from concrete retaining wall block. As we measure the grade for the patio, we either rework the slop of the yard, or add a small retaining wall in areas where the grade changes quickly.

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Once the crushed limestone base material is graded to perfection and after the supporting retaining walls are built, its time to finally add the pavers! The homeowners decided to go with Borgert’s Cobble Series pavers in the Minnesota River color scheme – one of our favorites. The retaining walls are built from the matching Strassen Wall block. Both the pavers and the wall block look fantastic together, and are both made from the same high quality material. Although a majority of the pavers go down pretty quickly, it takes almost just as long to cut-in the pavers that run along the edge of the patio. We use a powerful brick saw to cut the concrete pavers.

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Once the final brick is laid, the polymeric sand is swept into the paver joints and compacted thoroughly and carefully with a plate tamper. Several rounds of this process are completed before the final step of lightly misting the patio with water. The water creates a chemical reaction with the polymers and when the patio dries, the sand will form an almost “rubberized” concrete that holds the patio together, prevents weeds and ants, and will also flex with the freezing and thawing of a Minnesota winter.

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Thank you for having us, John & Ellen! We hope you enjoy your new backyard for many years to come!

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Minneapolis Paver Patio

   Kevin & Lauren’s backyard paver patio


We were lucky enough to work with Kevin & Lauren this year for one of our first patios of the season! We’ve been blessed with some amazing weather so far this year in Minnesota, and we were able to start our season almost a year sooner than normal. Take a look at how things came together!

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We started with a blank canvas, and began work right away. The biggest concern we had with this yard, and many yards in this area, was drainage. The entire yard slopes gently towards the house, so the patio will need precise measurements in order to make sure all the water is draining away from the house. We accomplish this by using levels, string lines, and the laser measurement tool you see in the left side of the photo. We also added a buffer garden along the house to make sure we have enough pitch on the patio surface. Most of the crushed limestone base material is in at this point and compacted to ensure years of stability.

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Once the crushed limestone has been compacted and carefully leveled for proper drainage, the next step is to add a thin layer of sand. This sand helps stabilize the pavers and allow for a little wiggle room as the pavers set. This is a very important step, and the pavers will directly reflect the surface of the sand below them.

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Once the pavers are laid, it is time to make things permanent. This is done by adding a polymeric sand to the joints and compacting the pavers into the sand with a plate tamper. After a few rounds of tamping the pavers and sweeping the polymeric sand into the paver joints, a light mist of water is added to cause a chemical reaction in the polymeric sand. Think of the polymeric sand as a “rubberized” concrete, which will flex and bend with the frost, but will also keep weeds and ants to a minimum.

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The project is complete after 3 days! The Bronze Granite color of Borgert’s Cobble Series pavers look great with the color of their house. We like to suggest staying off the patio for around 12 hours so the polymeric sand has a chance to fully dry. The garden area along the house will be a project Kevin & Lauren when things warm up, and they plan on filling it with low-maintenance perennials. Thank you for having us, guys! Hope you enjoy your patio for years to come!

Minnesota Spring Gardening

3 Things EVERY Minnesotan Gardener should do this Spring!


 

1. PLANT A VEGETABLE GARDENMinneapolis Landscaping - Twin City Landscape

Growing your own vegetables is a fun and healthy way to enjoy your garden this year. Pick a location in your yard that is very sunny with at least 6 hours of sun light. You may need to amend the soil. Your local garden center will have vegetable garden soil that you till into your garden area. A good beginner garden is 16’ x 10’. You can start your garden from seeds or purchase plants for a quick start. Some great vegetable choices are tomatoes, zucchini squash, pepper and cabbage.

Minneapolis Landscaping - Twin City LandscapeDon’t have room for a vegetable garden? Try planting vegetables within your existing flower gardens! They can blend in with your existing plants very nicely, and they work well as ground cover in the sunniest spots where other plants won’t grow. Is a vegetable garden just too much to take on this year? Consider a baker’s rack close to your kitchen with pots of your favorite herbs. You can also grow plants like tomatoes and peppers very well in a simple pot on your patio or your deck. Fresh herbs and vegetables at your fingertips are the best summer treat!

2. EVALUATE YOUR GARDENLandscaping Local Minneapolis MN - Twin City Landscape

Color is a consideration for every garden, but interesting structure and texture are what can turn your garden into a work of art. Try taking black and white photos of your garden at various stages of growth, to remove the distraction of color. Consider the size of plants, as well as the size of the leaves, is there anything that you don’t like, what do you need to add? Consult your local garden center or the experts over at Gertens to get an opinion on the best plants for your specific garden.

Landscaping Local Minneapolis MN - Twin City LandscapeConsider adding plants with large leaves, evergreen plants, softer plants, or plants with woody structure. Add some height to your garden using native grasses, or fill in spaces with a groundcover. Spring is the best time to add most plants to your garden. Try taking inspiration from other gardens that you admire, like the beautiful gardens at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Don’t be afraid to remove those plants that you no longer care for or add new plants you want to try out. Experimenting is the best way to find your new favorite plant. Your garden will never be finished, but that is the beauty of it all!
 

3. VOLUNTEER AT YOUR LOCAL PARKLocal Landscapers Minneapolis MN - Twin City Landscape

The state of Minnesota has 62 state parks, and Minneapolis has 197 city parks. These parks have increased the quality of life for every citizen here in the great state of Minnesota. There are several opportunities through the Minnesota DNR to volunteer at your favorite local park. There are so many opportunities that you can spend one hour, or one hundred hours volunteering in the park system. Consider helping out with planting trees for Arbor Day, or cleaning the lakes or rivers on Earth Day. Look for a new park to visit this year you may be surprised by the beauty that surrounds us!