After the back breaking manual labor all last weekend, we had to take a couple of days off to rest. But Wednesday night we went in search of ground cover options for our fire pit area, and last night we tried out some samples.
And they were all sort of a fail.
(From left to right: Multipurpose Decorative Gravel, Pea Gravel and Lava Rock. Also, we still need to pick up our huge pile of roots behind the retaining wall.)
The bags of decorative landscaping rock at Home Depot and Lowes are around $3.50 per bag, so we decided to just grab some to try out. We were really hoping that one of these three would work as the ground cover for our fire pit area since they're all fire safe, relatively inexpensive, it's really easy to unload the bags from the trunk of the car and straight into the wheelbarrow, and because it's just from the hardware store, we could always return extra bags or go back for more if we didn't buy the correct amount.
But basically we've got a Goldilocks and the Three Bears problem with the selection of test rocks, except we've yet to find out "just right." The the multipurpose gravel, well, it looked like regular grey gravel, the type you'd see in a driveway. Not nice enough for what we wanted. The pea gravel was way too light colored. We could see this little patch practically glowing at dusk all the way from our deck, and just stood out way too much for the natural look we wanted. And while the lava rock was a more neutral color, which we liked, I think it would just look a little weird and out of place to have a 12 foot fire pit terrace covered in it. At least the bag of lava rock it was light weight though, which our still sore backs appreciated!
So tomorrow it will be back to the drawing board, looking for more rock options. The only options we didn't try from the hardware store were too-large river rock and too-white marble chips, so we're going to have to venture back to the inconvenient landscape supply yards. We were hoping to avoid getting rocks from a supply yard because other than the pros to bagged rock listed above, none of these supply yards have convenient open hours (most close at 4 or 5pm, so we couldn't go during the week), we would have to have the rocks delivered and deal with the hassle and wait time of that, since we can't transport non-bagged rock in our car, they're going to just dump the pile of rocks in our driveway and we'll have to shovel it into our wheelbarrow, making more work for ourselves, and if we don't figure out the right amount we need, we'll either be stuck with an extra pile of rocks blocking our driveway, or have to have them deliver more.
So it's a pain in the ass, but we've just got to suck it up and do it. Our mantras with all of our house projects is to "do it right," and "good enough isn't good enough." So while yes, our test rock options would have worked, we don't want to settle on something that won't make us 100% happy. Even if it's a whole lot more work to find the perfect solution.
Do you ever force yourself to deal with inconveniences, in the name of doing something right the first time?