Making shed foundation look attractive
We've just ordered an 8x12 shed to house a riding mower & other garden tools. I'm figuring out the foundation/base to use under it and I'm struggling to figure out how to make it look good (or if that should even be a concern).
We were planning to dig down about 6", backfill with crushed stone, and use 4" thick solid concrete blocks to set the sleepers on. This base will surround the shed with 2' extra on all 4 sides (so it will be 12' x 16' for the 8'x12' shed).
The shed's floor joists are 12" oc & the floor is 3/4" PT plywood. So I wanted to have the blocks 12" oc. Here's the layout of the shed base, from a birds eye view (the joists will run top to bottom in this picture, along the long axis of the 8" wide blocks):
The blocks will be hidden by the shed, but I'm not sure what to use to fill in that strip between the shed & the edge. We're not putting gutters on the shed, so it needs to be something that can handle some extra water without turning to mud. Here's a cross section that shows the gap, and an outline of the shed itself. I want the shed to be attractive & look good. DH couldn't care less about that so I compromised on vinyl siding but I still chose a slightly steeper roof pitch & added a transom window over the double doors. Point being - I want it to look good without making it over the top expensive.
Later I'll figure out the path to the shed, and I'm leaning toward this kind of look. I like the mix of casual and formal this has (stones have gaps between, but edges are crisp and not all hodge-podge). Plus I think we could just mow over this without doing a lot of edging.
Question is - do I need to make that 2' wide swath of space around the shed match this? Will it look hideous if I use something boring like 12" square concrete pavers? Or should I just focus on the one project (shed foundation) and plan to update the perimeter when I get around to developing paths?
I'm wondering if I'm making it all harder than it needs to be, or if I'm smart to consider the whole thing before ordering materials.
Thanks in advance!