Fun Fact: The year I moved in the uncle of one of my neighbor's kids offered to buy the fort from me. He would have come over to tear it down and moved it to their yard. I just wasn't sure how much to ask for it and couldn't decide if I wanted to lose my fort. This was right after he chased their pet rabbit through my and two other neighbors' yards.
The first step was to clear out all the weeds from beneath the fort. I did that and covered the whole area with landscape fabric to prevent them from growing back. Then I went shopping!
I chose to go to Lowe's to see what landscape rock they had available. My dad gave me a medium sized sandstone rock to put in the garden so I wanted something that would go well with sandstone. I had also purchased a ceramic owl from Pier One back in May for the project. Eventually I'll need to find other sculpture to add.
My dad has dozens of sandstone rocks of varying sizes. The day before my 16th birthday party we had someone out to work on the sewage system and they dug up almost the entire yard--unearthing tons of those sandstone rocks. We used a lot of them in the landscaping at Dad's, but he had plenty to spare.
I settled on lava rock (despite Dad saying he thinks lava rock looks awful). I felt it would go well with my yard since I have the red brick house and reddish stepping stones. My only other option in that color family was a pea gravel with mixed color stones.
As I mentioned I'll need to find a few more sculpture items for the space, I'm considering getting a couple of those glass globes in fun colors and maybe something in iron that has a little height. I may also hang a bird feeder or something from the bottom of the fort's floor. I'm so excited about how much easier this will be to maintain though!