Dear reader, we left the story yesterday as Town Mouse had fallen in love with the Mariposa flagstone, and was trying to schedule a time for having the patio built. First, Town Mouse and Ryan agreed on a Wednesday, a few weeks before Garden Tour day. Then the forecast for that Wednesday was for serious rain, so they managed to reschedule for Tuesday. Ryan had cautioned Town Mouse that slate was going to be tricky for a dry stone patio, but was willing to give it a try.
They met at the stoneyard, and Ryan tried to lay out the patio to see whether it could be done. The goal was to have very few or no cuts, and an oval, fairly symmetrical shape. It was like doing a puzzle, except you didn't know whether all the pieces were in the box. Ryan moved a lot of stone, while Town Mouse watched, made a suggestion every once in a while, and watch some more. It rained. It stopped raining. An hour passed. Then another hour. But slowly, the patio was taking shape. It was really quite amazing. Did the stones really just fit together like that? Were they meant to be a circular patio? So many possible angles, and yet sometimes, the angle just fit.
Town Mouse made a few photos, and then they attempted to put the stones in the truck in an order that would later make sense (and if it didn't make sense, there would be the photos).
Town Mouse started feeling a little tired by then, and was very glad indeed she did not have to lay the patio herself. And Ryan had wisely left a worker to prepare a hole in the area that had been marked for the patio, and to help with the laying of stone. When Town Mouse and Ryan arrived, the hole had been prepared.
Then came the interesting task of trying to reconstruct the layout from before. It was tricky, and Town Mouse actually had to print her two photos to help with the process. Then Town Mouse set to work finding spots in the garden to put the earth that had come out of the hole. It was a challenge, but slowly the mountain of earth got smaller. Every once in a while, Town Mouse glanced over and watched the patio take shape. It was fun to watch, and it was an amazing amount of work. Five hours later, Ryan had to leave, and declared the job done.
And it was a thing of beauty! All that was left to do was to sprinkle a little more DG between the cracks as the DG settled, and to water the patio a bit once or twice a week. Easy! And the next weekend, even though it wasn't sunny, Town Mouse brought out the furniture.
Perfect! And if we move the table a bit, there's even room for another chair -- if Mr. Mouse changes his mind and wants to sit in the sun as well.