For the past several years, I've struggled with a small patio, walkway, driveway outside my very small old New England house (ie. "cottage.") I've attached pics below. Here are the issues:
1. the patio area (actually, the whole garden) is very small. Patio itself accomodates two chairs, maybe a third, if it's small. Gets walked on a lot when gardening. I used to have flagstones there, with the vision of thyme or something growing in between. Total failure. Soil too compact? Not enough water? Don't know, but it was a failure.
2. Last year, I ripped everything up, including the ugly broken up cement walkway. Transfered the flagstones from the patio to the walkway. Created two tire tracks from recycled cobblestones. The vision: no grass, but creeping thyme, irish moss (not real moss), etc. growing everywhere, including the patio, so that it would be "soft underfoot."
3. Aside from the plants growing in between the flagstones, and lots of weeds growing in between the two cobblestones tracks, it's been a total failure. (This could have to do with the "pulverized stone" that got delivered instead of the crushed gravel I had asked for, a cement like base that got mixed in with a lot of the soil?)
4. Just last week, I've re-dug up the ground in the patio and between the cobblestones, amended, added humus, etc... with the hope that this year, the plants will take.
Before I add more plants, and spend more $$$, I thought to ask the community here.
Given the fact that the patio, when used, is small and gets a lot of foot traffic, am I just beating a dead horse trying to get something to grow there? (The ground does feel very tough, even with all the amendments.)
Should I just go for pebbles or flagstones and call it a day? (I disliked the flagstones before b/c they were uneven and the chairs were always rocking).
Same with area between tire tracks. Should I just put pebbles and call it a day? (I dislike the idea of pebbles in driveway b/c I live in the northeast, ie. winter, snow, shoveling, etc.). And I don't want to deal with grass.
[I've posted the exact same question on another board, and since I'm not sure how to post pics here, I'll just point you to a link to that board, with pics:]
Thanks in advance. After three years of failed attempts, I'm at my wits' end.