From the Sperry Landscape: March 28, 2019

It was somewhere back in the late 1970’s that Pavestone began to appear in commercial and residential landscapes around DFW. I loved the look, so I started to think.

Something about the symmetry of Pavestone pavers caught my eye.

But the county had us driving on white rock (caliche) roads. Every time we had a slow rain or snow, if we dared leave the house, we gathered up goo in our wheel wells. We’d park on our drive and come out in the morning to find big, messy piles of the white stuff.

The county finally paved our road, and I took that as my sign to check into Pavestone. I asked the help of two friends – renowned landscape architects, Richard Myrick and Gene Newman. They came to our house and helped me figure a route for the drive and a color for the pavers that wouldn’t clash with the antique Grosbeck red bricks of our house. (I bought the north wall of an old Safeway store on Buckner Blvd. in East Dallas in 1976 when we were getting ready to build. It was about to be demolished.)

Richard Myrick told me he had planned our drive so that there would be no straight lines. Getting to work alongside him and his partner Gene Newman, then later Rowland Jackson has been a highlight of my career.

Everything went splendidly with our Pavestone for the first 25 years. But in recent years pecan aphids have been annual visitors to the towering trees that shade our driveway all summer. And anyone who hangs out around pecans knows that those aphids give off sticky honeydew drippage that falls onto any and every thing below. Our windshields are so messy that we park “up the hill” and walk down. The patio furniture is unusable.

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Not to be left out of the fun, the concrete Pavestone pavers get coated just like everything else. And then the black sooty mold fungus starts to grow in the honeydew. Over the years it had accumulated to the point that it became really quite ugly. And moss was starting to grow in the joints of the pavers.

As Nick and his family started cleaning the pavers with their power washer it soon became evident that we would like the results.

So I hired Nick and his family to step in with their power washer, Ivory soap and a bottle of Clorox to kill it all off. They spent three mornings carefully spraying out all the pores.

You can see it all in this photograph – sooty mold, moss between pavers, the effects of the power washer and all of it heading down the cast iron grate in our drive to be dispersed into the woods behind my Santa barn. Once dried, the Pavestone drive looks fantastic!

It actually was cool to step out and watch all that gunk floating down to the drain and out into the woods. (No, there wasn’t enough bleach to cause a concern, but if you’re cleaning an urban sidewalk or drive you would want to be careful.)

So the photos are, more than anything, just to show you how it all has turned out. I took them earlier this week about 18 hours after a heavy rain, so you’ll still see darker areas. Those, however, are moisture and not stains.

We have our lovely Pavestone driveway back once again. We also use it as our patio, so we can invite guests to dine with us again. It’s been too long.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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