I am working in San Francisco this week, so I am at the Houston Hobby airport on this fine Sunday. My Southwest Airlines flight has been delayed, so I have time to kill. Given that, I thought I’d blog about yesterday.
When we moved to our new home in Houston, we wanted to relocate our trash cans from the garage to just inside our backyard gate. With this in mind, we had a pathway made of paver stones installed when we had our front yard landscaped.
This pathway allows me to roll the trash cans from behind the gate to the front curb without having to cut through the grass.
As well-planned of an idea that this was, I forgot to think about bringing trash from inside the house to the cans. This is why design has to happen in a system context. I should have considered the trash disposal process from beginning to end: inside the house to outside cans, cans to curb, curb back to the can storage area.
Here is the side yard that leads to the trash cans.
It’s all grass. I wanted to create a pathway, so I had a pallet of flagstone and twenty bags of play sand delivered earlier in the week.
I designed a path by going through the pallet, selecting the bigger stones, and setting them in place to determine how many I would need.
I then used sand to level the stones into place. I kept the grading the same so rainwater would run away from the house. I completed the project by filling around the stones with garden soil.
As long as I had a whole pallet of flagstone, I also tackled a short pathway that leads from our backyard to the homeowner association common area behind our house.
Here is the before:
I swapped out the pavers we had for matching flagstone pieces. I dug down in the garden soil and didn't need sand except for the ones in the grass.
Now the entire back and side yards are consistently stoned. I didn't use the entire flagstone pallet, so I left the remaining pieces at our front curb.
I posted a free flagstone message on Nextdoor.com, and the excess flagstone was gone in a few hours.
Yesterday was a busy day. I am happy to have that out of the way. I can now take out the trash and come back to the house with dry feet. Trash starts in the house, makes its way into the cans stored in the side yard, on trash days, the cans roll their way to the curb, the trash collection team empties them from the curb, and the trash cans roll back to the storage area inside the gate. It's a complete system.
Pathways are alive in the lab.