High school teacher Sue Bergman was looking for a property to invest in when she found her home in Bonney Lake’s Tehaleh community.
“I love how everyone is so happy out here,” Sue explained. “I love the natural surroundings, the trails, the ponds, the wildlife. It is the best of both worlds: living in the country but still having the security of a neighborhood and being close to Tacoma and Seattle.”
The only issue with Sue’s new home was the soggy and uneven backyard lawn. This summer, Sue and her partner, retired engineer Sam Clark, replaced the grass lawn with gravel from Washington Rock. Washington Rock interviewed Sue about how she and Sam accomplished converted from grass to gravel and how she feels about the end results.
Washington Rock (WR): What was the backyard like when you first moved to Tehaleh?
Sue: The backyard was all grass, moss, and soggy ground that did not drain well. It was not pleasant to walk on.
WR: What inspired you to convert your yard to gravel?
Sue: I wanted to create a peaceful place that does not require a lot of work, plus I missed having a garden. I decided to combine the two and came up with this idea after a few rough drafts and sketches.
WR: What was your process for converting the yard to gravel?
Sue: We started by digging up the grass in sections, all the way through the topsoil to the hardpan. We cut up the sod into small pieces and mixed it in with the topsoil. We used that mixture to fill the five raised beds we created using Mutual Materials landscaping blocks.
After all the beds were completed, we ordered the rock. My friend had introduced me to the beauty of the blue-gray basalt from Washington Rock. The price was within my budget, and I went for it!
33 tons later, here we are.
When the truck arrived, the delivery went well until we realized that the huge pile was blocking the alley and the next day was garbage day. So with the help of Sam’s sons, John and Michael, we cleared enough of the alley before the garbage truck arrived. Many wheelbarrows later, we have achieved the desired effect.
WR: How did you decide to go with Washington Rock’s product?
Sue: The quote was reasonable, and they provide the product we wanted: the Kapowsin blue-gray basalt. Plus because the quarry is close by, delivery prices were reasonable.
WR: What do you like about the gravel?
Sue: I love the color and the drainage it provides. It is deep enough that we won’t be sinking into any soggy ground!
WR: What do you like about the feel and functionality of your new yard?
Sue: I like the look of the back garden now. The space is peaceful, low maintenance, and looks really “clean” and appealing. Each time the rock gets wet, the blue comes through, and it sparkles. I love that. There is balance and harmony here now.
Special thanks to Sue and Sam for allowing us to visit and photograph their beautiful garden. If you’re interested in the ¾” Clean product used in their gravel garden, check out our Clean Landscape Rock page.