My Labor Day Weekend Walkway Project

Five years ago when we bought out house, we paid little attention to the front walk, not noticing the terrible concrete job and they fact that it was barley holding together.  We were charmed by the house, but it didn’t take long before the foundation-less walkway was heaving and the steps were too uneven for the most sure footed person to ascend without getting tripped up.  So we ripped it out and have been living without for nearly two years.  Our logic went that no walkway was better than a dangerous one and since we primarily used our garage entrance, it was OK for a while.

Stone quartzite and pebbles front walkway

Do you ever have tolerance for something and then all of the sudden…like instantly,  it runs out.  That is what happened with the walkway.  I was living without, prioritizing other house projects and then suddenly, the walkway just had to be dealt with.  Being in the design field though, I tend to be my own worst client.  I can’t make a decision, I put insane pressure on myself to make designs for my own home that are so much better than anything I could come up with for someone else, all the while questioning my every choice.  Designing for me is definitely most difficult.

front walkway pebbles and quartzite stone mosaic

Finally, I came across this quartzite that I liked because it is similar in color to the stone foundation of my home.  The  24″ squares allowed me to play around with a pebble mosaic pattern that I have wanted to try my hand at for some time.

stone and pebble walkway quartzite

I am not entirely happy with it, but I have never once been completely happy with any project like this that I do for myself.  I really hate that I am such a perfectionist that I can’t be truly happy with my own handiwork…It’s just that I know where all the flaws are…

the path to nowhere front wlakway path stone and pebble

There is a lot left to do on this project.  Planting. Reseeding the grass. Anchoring the sand. And of course…the path leads to no where…since the stairs (which will hook to the right and be constructed of Ipe just like the front steps) still have to be done…. it’s an ongoing process.   What did you do in the garden this labor day weekend?  Did you create anything amazing?

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

9 Comments

  1. how it grows on September 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Funny, I also did a little pebble mosaic project over the holiday weekend. Hope to have a posting about it soon. The 80 lb bags of concrete were murder on my back. I think your walkway turned out great!

    • rochelle on September 9, 2009 at 6:17 am

      I look forward to the posting…let us know when it is up!

  2. Sprout on September 8, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I really like your tile and mosaic combo! Simple, clever, but not pretentious. Reminds me of stuff I saw in Granada Spain.

  3. Mary Delle on September 8, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Your walkway looks great. The gray river rock look really good the way you arranged it.. I’ve used them in some projects. They have a stylish way about them.

  4. michelle d. on September 9, 2009 at 12:43 am

    It must have been the weekend for stone mosaic projects !
    I worked on two sample mock ups for two different projects over the weekend.

    One of the projects is utilizing stacked pebbles in between stone.
    It takes a lot of patience and a lot of time to get a high quality finish.
    I spend hours taking stock of the pebbles and sorting them by size before even setting
    them.

    If you’re not satisfied with your stacked pebbles I can give you a few tips if you’re interested or can link you to some photos showing you how to get a really nice clean stacked effect.

    Drop me a line if you’re interested.

    Michelle

    • rochelle on September 9, 2009 at 6:18 am

      Thanks Michelle…I look forward to the tips – R

  5. Dad on September 9, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I think the walk looks Great!, Nice job! I am already envisioning the steps, (They look great too! Maybe split into two separate sets of steps, with some plantings in between the two) I also imagine several types of potential railings from stacked rock posts to match the foundation and the walk, to a heavy rope sort of thing that might compliment the rope you used in the treehouse, to a wood rail the blends with the house…Lots of options.

    Maybe the best approach is just like the one that built the walk. Leave it alone until one day when the urge and vision arrive at the same time. Then, do it! Hopefully it won’t take “years” for them to arrive.

  6. Jennifer on September 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Your walkway looks great.

    Thanks for your blog – I came upon it recently from Flora Grubb’s mention and read it every morning.I know what you mean about tolerating something for a long time. We had a slick white front step the previous owners put on the front of our brick house. Recently we finally covered it with brick. We still have some work to do but it is a definite improvement.

  7. Paige on September 10, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    This walkway is gorgeous! What meticulous work… I could never!

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