For many hours this past month, one of my large projects in my landscaping business was a patio restoration in one of my favourite Kanata gardens. The extensive patio and walkways were constructed approximately 7 years ago using an intricate and beautiful combination of flagstone as well as interlocking rectangular and square pavers, surrounding an exquisite custom-built home in one of Kanata’s most desirable neighbourhoods.
My job was to restore the patio and walkways to their former glory, as they had become weed, moss, and ant-infested over the years. This patio restoration was quite a massive undertaking for me, as I had no previous experience with this type of landscaping, work as a one-woman team, and generally specialize in garden design and maintenance.
I consulted with a few friends that have built and maintained patios to find out the best way to get rid of the unwanted moss and weeds, then replace them with a polymer sand product to discourage their return. Although I do realize that moss between flagstones can offer a desirable and natural look in some gardens, I agreed with the homeowner that this was not suitable for this magnificent home as it appeared neglected and unappealing, rather than intentional, yet natural.
This home is built in a natural woodland setting, so the first step of the patio restoration was to sweep the walkways and patios clean of leaves, dirt, twigs, deer and rabbit poop etc. I then enlisted the help of my 16-year-old son to power wash the stones, especially the cracks in between the stones, to remove the clumps of moss and weeds. I am not sure what was originally used between these stones as a sealant, but whatever it was, there was not much of it left in the cracks, so the weeds, moss, and ants had clearly taken over.
Once the patio and walkways were completely cleaned, I had to wait for a few consecutive sunny days with no chance of rain. Last summer, this would not have been a problem, but this summer it was much more challenging. The instructions for the polymer sand indicate that the area to be sealed must be completely clean and dry before sweeping the polymer sand between the cracks. Then the area must be gently wet with a hose several times to complete the sealing process. It must then dry for at least 24 hours without rain, excessive heat or cold, or foot traffic, to ensure a proper and successful seal.
The end result of this patio restoration is beautiful though, hopefully, long-lasting and well worth the effort. The greenish tinge on the patio beneath the swing in this picture is not moss, just a reflection of the lush greenery in the damp patio stones after the completion of the project…