Last year we purchased concrete pavers and laid them down on the clay soil on three sides of our home. We knew that it was risky not following any “rules” or “directions” during our installation – and we were right.

We had originally wanted to make our own clay pavers from locally quarried clay as mentioned in Christopher Alexander’s “Pattern Language”, a great design manual. He suggests that this sort of paver would blend well with the natural surroundings – a little dip here, a little slant there and perhaps some grass growing between. But we came to our senses and realized that was too much work and probably beyond our skill level. Then we thought about hiring out, but that was going to be too much for our budget. Several friends mentioned trenching, laying crushed rock and generally making a project of it. But we wanted something simple that would look country like the clay pavers we had envisioned. Well, fools always seem to have a clear road ahead of ‘em and we were set on walking that way.

So, we jumped right in. We scrapped away the weeds and, more or less, leveled the clay soil, tossing the rocks away. Then we placed our pavers three deep around the house. Tired, but done, we gazed at our work – it was too bad. Winter came along and the pavers settled in and so did the weeds. By spring we could barely see the pavers for the weeds – big nasty ones too. This spring we are pulling up the pavers and removing the weeds, roots and all, but before we put them back down (four deep this time), we have laid down some weed cloth. We also filled the spaces between the pavers with soil so we could plant scotch moss. This time, despite our hokey approach, we think we got what we want.

If you aren’t comfortable just going for it as we did, you might dig around on the web for advice. We found a couple of websites you might want to look at

Good luck with your project!