River Rock Pathway

A walkway between the house, garage, brick patio and outdoor kitchen is a work in progress.  More information about the spatial design can be read under Brick Patio, Cordwood Masonry Studio, and Outdoor Kitchen.

Grass and dirt before digging down to add base rock

Grass and dirt before digging down to add base rock

Sept. 2013

Sept. 2013 – Gopher wire recycled off chicken coop to keep gophers from digging


gravel delivered: 2 yards drain rock and 3 yards base rock


3″ drain tubing

A hole (tunnel) was dug under the walkway, and a drainage tube added to drain rain water coming from the patio.  The kitchen pad will be higher than the walkway, and the rocks will be laid to slope away from the garage.


Eventually, it'll drain to the garden and then into Love Creek

Eventually, it’ll drain to the garden and then into Love Creek

Piles of base rock

Piles of base rock

raked out with center marked with gravel for an outdoor oven

raked out with center marked with gravel for an outdoor oven


Laying out stepping stones

Laying out stepping stones

Stepping stones were designed with metal objects found on the property and broken ceramics.



The river rocks are chosen to fit the design pattern to spiral around each stepping stone. After all the rocks are leveled, then the stepping stone can be carefully created. The metal barrel ring is removed before filling the space with cement and objects. It takes about 3 bags of 60lb cement to make one stepping stone.


Stepping Stones:


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Sept. 2013: A work in progress

From September 2013 – December 2016 (3 years) no progress was made on the river rock pathway.  A few weeks off over Christmas vacation December 25, 2016 – January 2, 2017 enabled more work to get done.  The whole front of the garage will be raised with river rocks.


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During the 2017 holiday, I was able to plug away on the river rock walkway. I was motivated because our farmhand Will Burke was helping redesign the garden.  There was a large pile of river rocks that needed to be used to clear the space in the garden.


These rocks were enough to finish the walkway in front of the garage as well as two circular planter beds.


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In some areas, I coated with a mortar to make an even walkway.

As part of the process, the drainage tube extended in front of the garage and curved behind the garage so it would drain into Love Creek.  Gravel covered the pipe and then we covered that with cedar wood chips.


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The river rocks were cemented and leveled on top of the cement walkway.  Once the cement and river rocks ended, we added a layer of gravel to keep the walkway level.  Then, we laid down some black locust stumps for a transition to wood chips in the garden walkways.


As a couple finishing touches, I purchased river rock pebble tiles off ebay to cement onto the wood step-up into the garage.


And we added a garden gate made from vintage grape stakes.


The river rock walkway is pretty much done.  There’s a few finishing touches for 2019, such as creating one last mosaic stepping stone and adding mortar around the planter beds.

Well, so much for 2019!  On Saturday, May 16, 2020, I made the last mosaic stepping stone, and I’m also going over areas with sand and filling in with cement.   Hopefully this summer, the walkway will be finally be done after 10 years!  To see some really old photos of the space with grass, visit Cordwood Studio.

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