The patio edged its way to the top of our list of areas of our house we could no longer tolerate. Andrew, in particular, was driven to distraction by the overgrown bushes and other messiness, all of which seemed to harbor armies of mosquitos. A couple of weekends ago, he cleared an entire corner of our yard of scraggly weeds and wild Rose of Sharons, and he chopped down all the bushes around the patio. We had a mountain of yard waste, many many stumps, and dirt still studded with roots. So we hired a tree guy to take care of all that.
Once we were more or less back to zero, Andrew spent this weekend leveling the new clear areas, spreading sand, laying pavers, and clearing out still more overgrowth. We were doing this on a shoestring, since a professional patio will be part of our big kitchen renovation next year. Still, although Andrew nearly killed himself with many days of hard labor, the new patio is pleasant and pretty and feels more like ours than the inherited, overgrown one did.