Between a New Rock and a Hard Space

Charlie took apart (understatement) our flag stone patio to make way for coming additions to the house.

The stone terrace was outside the kitchen door before the renovation.
The stone terrace was outside the kitchen door before the renovation.

I asked him to save the stone of the approximately 96 square foot terrace so I could use it for another project.

We've been storing the stone to the right of the propane tanks behind the Cottage.
We’ve been storing the stone to the right of the propane tanks behind the Cottage.

Due to brick trim, planters and other allowances I knew we had a good 80 square feet of randomly shaped stone to use for a round patio in the back of the yard.  I just wanted a place for a couple of chairs and maybe a small table which might inspire a dejeuner sur l’herbe.

Do you remember your geometric formulas?
Do you remember your geometric formulas?

I wanted to figure out how big a round patio might be.  Recalling my geometry I know the area of a circle is calculated from the equation  πr2 or 3.14 times the radius of the circle squared.

We're inspired by this stone patio with fire pit.
We’re inspired by this stone patio with fire pit.

The equation: 80 square feet = 3.14 X r X r can be solved by dividing both sides by 3.14.

Which produces: 25.477 = r X r.

More simply: 25 = r X r, so r = 5.

Now I know I should have enough stone for a 5 foot radius (10 foot diameter) circle.

I'd like to locate the patio in the present location of part of the vegetable garden. I think Charlie will veto.
I’d like to locate the patio in the present location of part of the vegetable garden. I think Charlie will veto.

Now I need to find the perfect place to lay out my 10 foot (or less) diameter circle.

Do you remember anything about geometry? Or algebra? Or did you tell you teacher, “I’ll never use this!”


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

10 thoughts on “Between a New Rock and a Hard Space”

  1. After building all those raised beds, Charlie has grounds for veto — especially if that’s your best sunlight for gardening. What about putting the patio next to the garden, overlooking it, perhaps in more of a half-moon shape than a full circle? For full disclosure, I’ve built plenty of raised beds and pathways and just installed a small patio between our kitchen and driveway. Sure hate ripping anything up once I’ve gotten around to doing it in the first place …

  2. No, your calculations were beyond me, though in my youth I might have followed them. Yes, I think Charlie’s veto will have to carry in this situation. His raised beds look beautiful. What is it about that location that appeals to you? Some cogitation might come up with an even better location that is currently being overlooked. I was sure at the beginning that you were going to make a little patio for the new tenant. Ha!

    1. I was hoping you’d be checking my work, Barbara! The new tenant might get a small wood deck in front of the Cottage. A deck will allow for the major drainage that happens in that area. Jo

  3. Thanks for the geometry lesson! I might even remember it. All I remember from geometry class is my incredibly old and incomprehensible teacher, Miss Dorothy May Getty (who also taught Latin). I’d want the patio in a shady spot, but that’s because I don’t like to sit out in direct sun in warm weather. I wouldn’t blame Charlie for not wanting to disturb his raised beds!

    1. Our yard is shaded most of the day except at the very highpoint of the sun. Perhaps we could shift it under a tree but I would like it to be convenient to the conservatory doors. Jo

  4. I love your math! Geometry was always my favorite, but I’ve always loved all math. I haven’t retained much of it though, due to lack of necessity. And built-in calculators in my phone and computers. I love the idea of a circular patio for some chairs and a table. Could you put the patio in the center of the garden? Then Charlie would only need to remove 4 beds [I think…]

    1. Wherever it goes only 4 would need to be removed. And he could always reposition them. I would like this patio to be in the optimum and most useable spot. Jo

  5. My first thought, as a gardner, and in the throes of making vege beds, was you CAN’T make poor Charlie move his garden beds. But my second thought, as an efficient-space thinker, is that you have to make the best use of your space for the whole picture, and if that means moving the garden beds then so be it. Not that it’s going to make things easier but if the end result is better it will be worth it. I should know, we ripped up the existing vege beds to make entirely new ones, which is going to make the whole space much better! Soon…

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