Tracey and I bought some flagstones this weekend. We're re-doing our front sitting area amidst our herb and vegetable gardens. Last year the area was lush with some oat grass our landlord planted, but this year, without the replanting, it came up pretty patchy... like a bad hair plug experience.
The plan is to dig it up, loosen the dirt (and remove a bit), level it, lay down a layer of sand, then cover the area with some artistically placed flagstones. Then plant some creeping thyme or chamomile in between, sit back and crack a cold one. :)
Anyway, we drove out to Lyngso in Redwood City a little after noon on Sunday. Lyngso is a very cool industrial supply depot with fairly inexpensive materials if you are willing to get a little dirty. After doing an empty-weigh of our car, a small white Subaru Justy, we drove around to where all the stones were located. We looked at the flagstone selection available (lots), chose one that was 16 cents a pound (Mariposa) and started laying them on the ground to gauge quantity.
After we'd figured out the ones we wanted, we got them all home in two trips with a total stone weight of about 800 pounds. The little Justy was definitely riding a little low while poking along in the right lane on the 101. All told, the stones cost around $130. Not bad considering local nurseries sell similar stones for 5-6x the price.
We also picked up some 'premium compost'.. a U-SACK-EM style system. For a 40 pound bag of prime soil, you pay only $1.99. You can knock off $1 of that price if you don't need the bag. A cubic YARD of the stuff is still less than $30.
2 years ago when we first moved to California, we had an beat-up Honda Accord hatchback. We lay down some plastic in the back and shovelled in half a cubic yard of redwood compost. I'm sure they thought we were nuts.
Anyway, the stones are strewn around our yard right now in preparation of installation. Hopefully next weekend we'll continue with it.