One of the features that made us instantly fall in love with our Eichler was the front entry courtyard. Our orange front door leads to this private space while the dark brown fence shields it from the street (and provides the perfect background for our blue agapanthus).
When we bought this house six years ago, ivy covered the front fence and overgrown shrubs blocked the view of the mountains. Worse yet, one of the two large rectangular concrete patios was terribly cracked and uneven. Something had to be done.
I began by ripping out the ivy and cutting down the shrubs, but dealing with the patio required a bit of creative thinking. Replacing it wasn’t an option.
Our house has five distinct outdoor living spaces, with five sets of matching exposed aggregate concrete patios, all made with “Teri Beach” pebbles that are no longer available. As a result, replacing just the courtyard patios would have ruined the cohesive feel of the house. At the same time, replacing everything would have been incredibly wasteful (and expensive!) – all of the other hardscape was in excellent condition.
After doing a bit of brainstorming with a roll of blue tape, I decided to salvage the broken slab by having it cut into smaller rectangles and squares.
After contacting dozens of concrete contractors (all of whom complained that our job was “too small” and thought my idea was “ridiculous” or “impossible”), we eventually found someone willing to take on our “little” job, someone willing to think differently.
After sawcutting the broken slab into pieces, our landscape contractor removed the excess concrete and thankfully, only one square had to be moved into a new position.
After moving and leveling one square, I cleaned the slabs with water, added some soil, and planted two flats of succulent Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ in the spaces in between.
Since then, the succulents have filled in and the courtyard is once again a tranquil retreat.