Snow-Gauge Clif: Week 4 and a new project

It looks as though this will be the last week for Snow-Gauge Clif, unless we get an April blizzard, which happens with some regularity in Maine. Last year we had a corker of storm on April 10. Fortunately, it was soon gone, and I expect the same would happen this year if we had snow. So, in effect, this will be the last week for measuring snow.

Here is Clif in the front yard.

And here is Clif in the backyard.

There is just a wee bit of snow in the back by the house, and I expect it will be gone by the end of the week.

Now, onto another outdoor project. However, first a bit of backstory. Our driveway is a heaving mess, with great rocks being pushed up by the freezing and thawing that occurs every winter and spring. Unfortunately, the driveway was not properly installed. If we had the money, we would hire someone to come in to break up the asphalt, haul out the rocks, and put in some pea stone. But, alas, we have a budget as big as a minute, and a total replacement is not an option.

The other day, when we were outside inspecting the back part of our sorry driveway, Clif looked at a big bulge and said, “I think I can get that rock out.” And this he did. As is the case with so many projects, one thing led to another, and by the time he was done, we were left with a good-sized hole in the pavement.

What to do? We have discussed getting pea stone to fill in, gradually tearing up this bit of driveway that leads to our backyard so that eventually the whole area is pea stone.

But then I came up with another idea: Why not have a moss garden lead to the backyard? As you can probably see, there is already moss growing on part of the pavement. As a rule, no cars park here. We would leave a walkway for going back and forth and for getting equipment out of our little shed. (On the left in the above picture.)

I love moss, which is actually pretty rugged and would certainly survive if guests did step on it on the way to the patio. I was thinking of putting some of my Asian garden ornaments to the side, on the right, along with the rock Clif dug up.

Is moss a silly notion? Would pea stone be better, more practical, in the long run? I expect it would, but I love the idea of a tranquil, mossy way leading to our backyard.

Anyway, let me know what you all think. Have any of you ever put in a moss garden? If so, what were the results?

And a final question: What the heck do we do with the torn-up asphalt? Clif did a quick check online, and it does not look as though our transfer station will take the asphalt. We will call to be sure when the transfer station is open, but we are not optimistic.

Any ideas what to do with the asphalt if our transfer station won’t take it?

72 thoughts on “Snow-Gauge Clif: Week 4 and a new project”

  1. Laurie, I understand your dilemna. Upon moving to my little house in December, I have worked a LOT with brokenness. Sadly, a whole pile of rocks, unburied trash (and an old tire), rebar, old gloves, and even an old irrigation line are piled up by a fence. I LOVE MOSS too. That seems plausible and pretty too. I did have a ton of 1 inch base rock delivered (I don’t have any asphalt except at the very top of my driveway). It works. But what a unique way to look at repairing. Good luck whatever you choose! And I hope Spring arrives to you soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. That’s a lot of hard work!! I like the idea of a mossy trail to your shed. If you can’t unload the asphalt you might have to make a sculpture of sorts with it somewhere in the yard!

  3. Could the asphalt form the basis of a bug and wildlife hotel, interspersed with pipes, logs, bamboo sticks and newspaper and other detritis. You could cover it with soil or moss. It could be stacked as a cube or as a rounded mound hobbit house style.

  4. Being the nature lover that I am I would opt for the moss. I don’t have a clue as to what you can do with the asphalt. I bet you get it all figured out.

  5. Moss will look lovely. But I haven’t got a clue what to do with the asphalt. Here we can bring it to a containerpark but it cost money ofcourse. Maybe you can place an add in a local paper for someone who needs to fill a gap ? If you give it away for free someone will have it, especially the “free” bit is very attractive to some people ๐Ÿ˜€ Good luck !

  6. If you can get moss to cover the area I am sure it will look good. Using paving stones to cover the path that will inevitably appear on your way tot he shed will prevent erosion of that bit. I am pleased Retirement Reflections has come up with a useful link for you regarding your asphalt problem ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I love the idea of a moss garden. I think you’ll need to include a few fairy garden extras as well once it’s established. It’s far too hot here for moss. When it does form, it dries out with the first sign of heat, though one day I’ll find and share the link of the cat-shaped moss in my back garden. Funny, eh? I think it’s a great idea, and I’m all for green wherever you can grow things. I”m looking forward to updates.

    1. I am all for fairy garden extras! Yes, once the moss is established it should do well. Our front lawn is basically a moss garden already. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Not sure what if we will have to amend the soil. The moss does seem to grow easily on a variety of surfaces, including our roofs. Or rooves, as we would say in Maine.

  8. Go for the moss. In our experience, it won’t need much encouragement. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope that Clif didn’t get paid a lot for his snow measuring work!

  9. My practical nature wants to ask if you snow blow or shovel that area. If so, will that work with moss? I love moss, but usually in a garden setting. “If” you decide to fill the hole, I have used Aquaphalt from Ace Hardware twice to fill holes in our driveway. Yes, they were definitely not the size of your hole, but I’m guessing you could fill it with a couple of buckets with some kind of base. Unless you can use those black chunks as black rocks, I can’t think of anything. Our recycling center has a construction debris option, and we pay by the weight with a $5 minimum. That’s what I’d do with it with that option available. I’m not a big gravel person because it seems like I’m the one shoveling it down and then I find myself shoveling it back up at some point. ๐Ÿ™‚ Be sure to let us know what you decide. I always enjoy a DIY project even from afar.

  10. Iโ€™m not good with home projects, so Iโ€™ll withhold any opinions about the driveway. As for spring: here in the Philly burbs I noticed flowering plants (forsythia) two days ago. Spring is announcing itself.

  11. Yay, snow is gone!
    YouTube has some great ideas you might want to peruse for crushed stone walkways or driveway:

    Mossy walkways can be quite slick, so you might want to use textured pavers for a path, and grow a moss garden around them.
    Craigslist might we a good place to get rid of the asphalt, offered as ‘fill’ for landscaping. Great for people looking to fill in low spots, etc.
    Good luck!

  12. One option for asphalt removal is taking it to a hazmat station. You will probably have to get someone to haul it there for you. That looks like at least a good pickup truck worth.

    Cement or crushed rock is what many people use here for walkways; we use rock delivered from a local quarry, but most any medium will grow moss soon enough if there is sufficient acidity.

  13. I’m glad Clif found something constructive to do on the driveway – he looked a little lost with his snow gauge but no snow,

  14. If you look at the picture at the top of my posts you will see my driveway. It, and the paths off it were covered with a good layer of gravel but gradually weeds have infiltrated it. I have a choice to pour weedkiller on (not an option with the garden next to it), use a flame thrower (takes for ever and uses a lot of propane gas) have it scraped by a digger every few years (what do I do with the mucky gravel, how do I pay for the digger and the new gravel?) So I leave it and actually I rather like the way it looks. Go for the moss and lay some kind of path although probably just repeated walking will keep that area clear.

  15. Laurie, I’m afraid I can’t help you with your project. What I know about paving and moss gardens might fill a thimble, ha! Nevertheless, I’m real interested in seeing what you come up with!

  16. I think you are both just amazing for thinking of trying moss, and also the clearing you and Clif have already done…Mainers are hardy folk!

  17. Amazing what tackling a problem will do! It may open up a new problem, but it could also provide a new opportunity! To moss or not to moss? some mosses can get slippery, so if you will also have a pathway, you’ve preempted that issue. I love pea gravel, but if you ever plan to remove snow, you might pick up some of the gravel with it.
    Both options will look pretty and pea gravel has its own softness, so you can’t go wrong. And tell Snow-Gauge Cliff he looks quite dashing, despite having now snow to gauge.

    1. Yes, a pathway is part of the plan. Clif and I are definitely at an age where we don’t want to slip and fall. I will pass on your compliment to Snow-Gauge Clif.

  18. I don’t have much to contribute, but this did occur to me: in east Texas, in the woods and the various preserves, many of the trails are moss covered. It seems to be tough stuff, and it stands up well to foot traffic. Whatever sort it is, it doesn’t seem to get slippery in the rain. Some of it’s pictured in my recent post about “green things.” I’ll bet there’s a species in Maine that would do just fine. This pincushion moss is one kind that grows on our paths.

  19. I suggested to my sweetheart he might take a look at this and give his thoughts, his being better than mine on such things, but I see he hasn’t made it. He is rushing about a bit at the moment. I have heard him say mosses like miserable soils and do fine in shade. I am just not sure how easy it would be to start it on that kind of ground. It sounds a lovely idea and if you fancy it, there’s nothing lost in giving it a go. I was reading recently that a single stone can have 20 different types of mosses on it, so perhaps the more you can find to seed it with, the merrier!

  20. I couldnโ€™t reply to the two precious post so, letโ€™s see, what was I going to say? I hope you like Block Editor by now. I adore it, and I fought it for a year, finding ways to stick with classic editor for a long time. I love the gallery option, and tiled gallery (not available on the app, though) and being able to neatly put text next to a photo.

    I donโ€™t like pea stone. It kicks around too much. I like crushed gravel because it packs down hard. Bob Nold, โ€œThe Miserable Gardenerโ€ blogger, wrote in this book High and Dry (he gardens in Colorado) about using all sorts of rubble as the basis for a mounded garden bed.

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