Labyrinth update: The Final Corner

The northeast corner of the labyrinth has been neglected for years.  Nominally a quiet sitting area, with a redwood glider nestled among ferns and lily-of-the-valley, it became an overgrown dead-end — lovely to look at, but useless as a meditative station.  Also, the redwood slats were rotten.

So when my brother-in-law Daniel made us a lovely bench for Christmas, I knew it was time to rework that corner. I pulled out the glider and began yanking out the undergrowth, clearing a spot for the new bench.  I cut a 3×5 foot piece of RAM board to give me a guide as to how much flagstone I needed, and to keep some of the undergrowth from growing back.

This was over a month ago, and that’s where the trouble started.  For years I have been heading out to Mulch & More on Highway 34 for my flagstone needs, but this time I was told they had a new policy: whereas before they had an open pallet of flagstone standing on its end so you could riffle through like records,[1] now they leave it lying flat and you have to buy what’s on top.

However, what was on top were small pieces of flagstone for which I had no use. I asked about the policy — they changed because they were getting stuck with “a lot of waste.” Hm, I thought to myself, and now you want me to buy your waste?

But I was determined to kill with kindness.  I kept going out there twice a week, smiling and waving and cheerfully leaving when there was nothing I could give them money for because no one else had given them money for the stone I couldn’t use.  Finally, this Monday, there was a piece of flagstone on top I could use.  I bought it, pointedly telling the office staff that it was great I could finally give them money for one piece of flagstone.  The young man who assisted me out in the yard confessed that he thought the policy was self-defeating, but what is one to do?

I posted about it on Facebook, and Craig recommended I try Vining Stone out in Sharpsburg. Yesterday I drove out there, and you will scarcely believe this, but even though they have basically the same policy, they’re not idiots about it. (Their words, actually.) I came home with plenty of stone to finish my project.

First pass:

I had to take all of that out in order to till the soil and rake it flatter.

Second pass:

Still in rough shape.

Finally:

For an Abortive Attempt, it will do. I’ll revisit it in the coming week. I can reshape some of the stones for a tighter fit, and I’d like to make the apron circular.

The next Successive Approximation will find a way to include these:

Anybody got a way to drill large holes in flagstone?

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[1] Yes, records. I’m old. Get off my lawn.

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