Instant transformation of patio extension

#3 of my 11 projects for 2011 is to dress up the dirt area next to our front patio. Initially I wanted to lay flagstone but due to my inexperience with this kind of work, I decided that decomposed granite (DG) is the way to go: cheaper and definitely faster. Since we needed bark mulch for the planting strip outside our front yard fence anyway (click here to see this project), I ordered some DG along with it.

This is what this area looked like before:



I really hated the bare-dirt look, not to mention the fact that every time it rained this area got muddy.

A couple of hours of prepping and hauling DG were all it took to produce a marvelous transformation. The color of the DG (officially called “ginger”, but to me it looks more like a sandy coral) really complements the existing flagstone patio as well the chocolate color of our house.


The DG really sets off the potted plants (mostly succulents) in this area.


This is a panorama of the entire area as seen from the patio. Click the small photo below to see a larger version (it’ll take a few seconds to load).


It turns out I had estimated very generously when ordering the DG so there was plenty left over. We saved some to use as top dressing for potted succulents and gave the rest to two different neighbors. I love being able to share!

Last night, we helped our next-door neighbor spread the DG along a large planting box next to her driveway (we jokingly call it “the coffin”). It really dressed up that bed, and it will suppress weeds and prevent sprinkler runoff. Once she is done planting this area, it will be very attractive.

Our neighbor’s planting box next to her driveway


  1. That's a good, "easy" solution! Since the DG is only a couple of inches thick at most, you should be able to plant some groundcover sedum or other "stepables" here to soften things up if you want -- maybe around the edges.

    Nice that you shared with neighbors too!

  2. Alan, the DG is a bit thicker than that at the moment but it will consolidate. We didn't have a tamper so tried to trample it down with our feet as best as we could :-)


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