paver-path-finished-circlesIts been a while since I’ve written anything on here. A multitude of reasons kept me away — everything from taking small trips, hosting visitors, working on projects and having no time left over to write about them here, blogging for my full time job over on Retro Renovation and just spending some of the summer time outside away from the glow of a computer monitor. I haven’t decided to stop sharing my projects, life and home — I’ve just taken a bit of a summer break. But while I’ve been silent, progress has been happening around the Retro Ranch.

pathwouldbeniceRemember my Retro Ranch Revamp Resolution to put a stepping stone path between our oval patio and victory garden? I’ve been wanting to do this project for a few years now (Leo has been nagging me about it) and after a heck of a lot of work, I’m proud to say it is finally done.

shrubin2To fully appreciate how far this part of the yard has come, here is a shot from two years ago, after I had already hacked out most of the giant, half-dead, overgrown shrub planted too close to the house.

garden2This was not even the full extent of the overgrowth, If I could only find the photos taken shortly after we bought the house…then you would realize just how big of a transformation has actually occurred in this quadrant of the yard. But on to present day…

hose-pathHere’s what the area looked like a few weeks ago, before I started constructing the path. I used this old garden hose to help determine how to curve the path.

back-to-workNext up was digging up all of the grass, breaking up the soil and leveling it out a bit to prep the surface for the circular stone pavers. During this part of the process, Leo was quite a task master.uncovered-stonesThere was a lot more than grass to dig up. I also found all of these VERY heavy stones just under the dirt. I think they originally were used to contain a small garden next to the house. Whoever started the garden probably gave up pretty quickly because our house’s large overhangs don’t allow any rain water to reach up next to the house — meaning the soil is very dry and any attempt at a garden would have to be watered on a daily basis.

placing-paversOnce the grass was removed and the dirt leveled out, it was time to start placing the stones for the path.

bit-to-the-left-pleaseLeo helped of course.



path-in-progressWith the stones in place, I started to fill in around them with dirt again.

path-half-doneThen I planted some low growing, ground cover plants that will hopefully grow together and fill in all the dirt spaces over time. In the dry space between the stepping stones and the house, I continued the same river rock used in some of the other areas between the sidewalk and the house. With half the path completed, I was exhausted. A sudden summer thunderstorm announced the end of my day’s work.

circular-stone-paver-path2A few more weekends passed before I was able to get back to work on the path. With Labor Day fast approaching, I noticed a sale on the remaining river rock needed to complete the path — which was enough to get me fired up to finish the project.

circular-stone-paver-path path-finishedThe path turned out better than I could have hoped. I’m crossing my fingers that the ground cover plants will take hold and come back stronger next year. Hopefully within a few years, the space will be all filled in and look great.

river-rockI’m also really grateful to be done buying river rock for a while. It is not an easy product to purchase by the bag and haul home.

stone-tiki-headThe concrete tiki head that Mom and Dad bought me for an early Christmas present looks fabulous along the path too, don’t you think?

jim-on-pathJim likes the path because walking between the patio and the garden is less treacherous now that he doesn’t have to worry about stepping on any of Leo’s yard surprises. (I agree.)

path-doneAnd Leo seems to be impressed that I finally got this job done…


…even though he has yet to actually use it.

silly-kateHope everyone is having a wonderful summer! More updates will be coming soon, I promise!




30 thoughts on “GARDEN PATH COMPLETE!

  1. Love the path …. LOTS of work by Kate and Leo …. looking forward to seeing it in person very soon. And, unlike Leo, I’m not adverse to walking on it. LOL 🙂

  2. Nice job Kate!! I feel your pain, we have made similar paths all over our yard! Weird thing here, I can no longer find round stepping stones. Lowes & Home Depot have discontinued them? BTW…I LOVE the long narrow stone you dug up…hope you find a place for them somewhere else.

  3. I don’t know how you manage to do these HUGE diy projects and not wind up in traction! I couldn’t tell from the pictures, but the long skinny “stones” you found, they aren’t the tossed remnants from your window sills are they? Often times the builders just tossed the cut off pieces aside.

    • Lynne, The long, skinny stones are not like my window sills, however I think the person who built my house was a home builder — and there are other smaller, more irregular pieces of this rock around my lot stacked for use as a planter and also around the edges of the driveway. I’m thinking he got them from work (scraps) and brought them home to use in landscaping.

      My tip for getting these types of projects done: lift with your legs, take your time and drink lots of water! 🙂

  4. Path looks great! I also see peeks of the new fence, looks nice too! Leo’s bachelor pad backyard is really shaping up! ;).

  5. Why are there always shrubs and trees planted too close to the house? All it takes is a little thought to realize how large those things will be one day. I hate removing trees/shrubs, but we’ve had to do our fair share on our own ranch property. Sigh.

    Love the path. Looks great! 🙂

  6. Wow, great job. Definitely adding to the top of my idea list. I was already planning the river rock edge, but those circular stones are great.

  7. Looks great! Those stones there are great edging stones. I’m working on my landscaping right now and for the portion in front of the house I am going to be using bluestone (might be what those are) to create the edging.

  8. Lookin’ good! Don’t know about you, but I have a more-than-mild aversion to plants and shrubs up against a house. What is it with that, anyway? But people do it–especially during the mid-mod years: all that scratchy evergreen shrubbery was–in a word–awful! Have done my time mowing and weeding in and out and around ’em, I can tell you. Am in talks with a landscaper to put in paths around our place sans shrubbery against the house. The suggestion of it raised his ire, and he stopped speaking to us for awhile. Yes, really! Took him awhile to come around–at least, it seems to have sunk in, anyway. Landscapers, huh? They must have their own bible. “Thou shalt not plant any green thing away from thy structures” must be Commandment #1. Anyway, good job on your path! I’m sure you’re gonna love it!

    • Thanks Michael, so far we do love it! I thought the general rule was to plant shrubs at least 3-4 feet from the house, but some people like to plant them right next to the foundation. When I planted my new shrubs out front, lots of neighbors asked why they were so far out. My response: allowing room for them to grow over time! Sorry about your landscaping troubles!

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