When we were designing the backyard it was very important to us to still have a good size grass area for the kids and dog, as well as for us. Grass just seems to keep a yard cooler don't you think? Which is why we placed the pool in the very far back corner of the yard so we could have grass going right up to the pool deck. Another important factor was to limit the amount of concrete. Our garage is detached and so we have a huge stretch of concrete driveway that already runs along the entire side of the backyard. With this in mind, we chose Decomposed Granite for the patio, and around the fire pit. We also made a winding pathway from the fire pit to the back of the pool to create some interest.
We love the rustic and natural element that the DG lends to the yard. I love how a patio set looks resting in DG (reminds me of a lot of wineries we've visited). Plus it's significantly cheaper than concrete which is an added bonus. We spent 1/3 of what we would have spent on concrete. I really hope I'm not kicking myself later though with the mess. We're going to spray a light glue adhesive down to help keep the small pebbles in check. If that doesn't work, we can always lay some slate right into the DG, and we'll still end up spending less than if we had poured concrete. We'll see how it goes. For now, here's some pictures with notes of the progress so far. There still is so much to do but we'll get there eventually!
The DG is packed down pretty hard so that it doesn't give at all when you walk on it. Tiny little pebbles do lift up as you're walking, but eventually they should all get ground in.
And that's it so far! Thanks for taking the tour :)