Griff and I are pulling up all the slate in the old patio. Roots from the maple tree made it uneven, and then bug-hunting, shovel-loving kids have worsened the situation, so that it's less a functional patio and more a quarry of sorts. Before-ish/during shot:
The hope here is to loosen up the dirt beneath after giving all the various ants, termites, and beetles a chance to vacate the premises, and then settle the stones in a somewhat level fashion and allow moss to grow between them. Problem is, at least two stones are lodged between maple roots, and more roots pop up all over the place. They're too close to the tree to safely cut them, as they fall within the critical root zone. I'm fairly certain that working around them may just result in problems down the line and the need to fix the patio again. That said, it could work in the short term, and we may have better resources for a more permanent fix in a few years.
Right now, I just want to be able to get the old patio table/chairs out of storage (we've set a deadline for ourselves of May 31 to get everything out) and be able to add outdoor dining to the host of ways we enjoy the yard.