RATHER THAN BLOG about my exciting day at the shopping mall (I went to the K-Mart in Bridgehampton for such essentials as a new toilet seat and a corkscrew), have a look at my friend Nancy’s new bluestone patio in Boerum Hill.

AFTER (well, during - it's not quite finished)

AFTER (well, during - it's not quite finished)

In my two-and-a-half weeks at her house, I managed to screw up her cappuccino maker and leave a couple of eggs on the stove so long they exploded, but on the plus side, I encouraged her to call Carlos Serna of Stones R Us, an Italian stonemason who re-built a collapsing retaining wall at my Boerum Hill house, and get going on the patio she’d been postponing for ages.

BEFORE

BEFORE

About 8’x10′ (the rest of our design concept calls for a slightly raised wood deck, to be built later this summer), the patio cost $3,800 and took 3 or so days for two men to accomplish, what with breaking up the existing concrete and carting it out, excavating several inches, laying a bed of gravel, setting the 2-foot-square bluestone slabs in a bed of sand, and trimming it with cobblestones.

The bluestone will darken and mellow with time, and the sand between the stones, rather than concrete, allows for the possibility of growing thyme or other greenery in between.