Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Recycled Countertop Patio

This patio was an interesting one-off. I built it with a friend of mine as an addendum to his project. He wanted a sitting place up here on the hill above his house. There’s a good view, but more importantly there’s a feeling of separation from life down below, from the demands of work, kids, bills, etc… A place for respite. We called it the chill spot though I don’t think he meant that literally and we’re getting a little old to be using that phrase.

We made the patio from recycled countertops that someone was giving away. I don’t know how replicable that is, it was just dumb luck that I stumbled on them, but I loved working with them. They’d be a little slippery for a more conventional patio with regular traffic, but they work great up here. I cut a few of the pieces in order to align the joints and edges but they came with mostly regular dimensions and went together lickety split, the quickest, cheapest patio I’ve ever built. Carrying up the dog statue, made of solid concrete, was the hardest part of the whole project.

A couple of photos with the grass cut back are below.

I’m sure I’d overlook or scoff at this dog if I saw it for sale in a store, but up here it makes me smile every time I see it. It used to be by the front door when I came to this house as a kid; my friend’s mom, a dog lover and gardener, used to put bedding plants in it. I have memories, possibly apocryphal, of Lobelia or maybe Alyssum spilling over the edge of the basket. Now I think it’s more likely to hold my friend’s extra beers or empties, but even that is done with affection. The dog has such an earnest look.

The tree is a native Hackberry, Celtis occidentalis, the first opportunity I’ve had to plant one. From below, the green foliage is beautiful against the dry grasses.

We also planted some Blue Oaks and Tecate Cypress to eventually shade out the weeds. When we were kids there were Monterey Pines up here, but they’re gone. I’d like to also get some natives grasses up here as well, but for now we are waiting to see how the trees do.

One Response to “Recycled Countertop Patio”

  1. July 18th, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Gayle Madwin says:

    Nice patio! Great dog statue. I hope the trees do well!

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