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Rolling out the Welcome Mat

May 19th, 2012

Ever since we moved in here at Chiot’s Run, there has been an expanse of lawn with no path that leads up to our front porch steps. I’ve been wanting to put in a path, but couldn’t decide what kind of material to use.

We have crushed gravel in the back but really dislike that it’s always getting tracked into the house. Concrete wasn’t an option because we wanted to use something native and natural. I finally decided to simply use some of the rocks I dig up all the time and inset them into the grass. (I have a few large piles of rocks in various places to harvest stones from when I need them).


I laid each stone on the sod then cut out the grass in the shape of the rock. I removed the sod and used it to fill a raised bed in the back and then laid the stone.

They’re set just at the soil level so that they can be mowed over easily. The grass should grow in around them and make them look like they’ve been there for a long time.


I plan on using my old Craftsman push mower to mow the path shorter than the surrounding lawn to emphasize it. It’s quite welcoming and definitely something I should have done a long time ago.

What’s your favorite kind of garden path?

19 Comments to “Rolling out the Welcome Mat”
  1. Kathi Cook on May 19, 2012 at 6:33 am

    It already looks natural and like it has been there a long time. I also love stone paths. I had three large fieldstones that we found when we were digging for our porch. My nephew suggested I make a 3 step direct path with them from my back porch to my vegetable garden. It is now one of my favorite features in my back yard. I then flanked each raised bed with a dwarf alberta spruce. Now that little path seems to beg you to walk into the garden. It always does seem like it’s the little simple things that make such a big difference in the garden.

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  2. daisy on May 19, 2012 at 6:44 am

    What a difference such a simple change makes, huh? Love it!
    I like anything natural, no concrete for me!
    daisy´s last post ..Black Beans and Rice

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  3. anotherkindofdrew on May 19, 2012 at 7:03 am

    I always go back to using cuts of wood (perhaps 1.5″ thick and cut to show the tree rings) dropped into the ground like your stones are. It is all about finding the tree for me though. I don’t want to cut one but the downed ones seem to be so bland. Hmmmmm…..

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  4. Andrea Duke on May 19, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I used stone like that to make a path to the greenhouse. I really like it.

    Our front entrance to the house has a walkway (more like a sidewalk) from the driveway to the porch, huge 2 x 2 and 3 inch thick slabs of concrete and I’ve disliked it for years. The thing that has kept me from changing it is what to do with the old slabs?

    Anyways, your walkway is beautiful!

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  5. Joan on May 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

    That looks great Susy!

    We did something similar when we lived in Colorado, but put native dwarf pussytoes between the stones. They didn’t need to be mowed, and didn’t take any water once they were established, which in Colorado is really important!

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  6. Allison on May 19, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Wow – gorgeous! They already do look like they have been there a long time :) Very nice!
    Allison´s last post ..The Chicken Whisperer & A Giveaway!

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  7. Annie on May 19, 2012 at 8:40 am

    The new path looks great. I have flagstone and until recently grass grew around the stones but last year I removed about two-thirds of the grass and now sweet alyssum and other short flowering plants have filled in the spaces. In my back yard Irish moss and baby tears fill the spaces.
    Annie´s last post ..It Won’t Be Long Now

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  8. Sherri on May 19, 2012 at 9:02 am

    That looks fabulous and YES, the path looks like it’s been there for a long time already. I especially love that you used native materials :)
    Sherri´s last post ..this week

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    • Susy on May 19, 2012 at 9:40 am

      I have found that things always look so much more at home and blend in when when you use native materials (and they’re often free with some work).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Throwback Road on May 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

    great job Susy! looks beautiful
    Throwback Road´s last post ..Throwback Road Garden Update

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  10. DebbieB on May 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    That’s really gorgeous, Susy! It looks quite organic, as though the stones found their way to your house on their own.
    DebbieB´s last post ..Kraken…Vest?

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  11. Domestic Executive on May 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I love your path which looks so naturalistic. I have a new path plan for next summer to spruce up parts of our back garden. this is a real inspiration.
    Domestic Executive´s last post ..Towards Aspiring

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  12. Maybelline on May 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I’m with you on your dislike of gravel. We recently got rid of a bunch of our gravelled landscape replacing it with concrete and flowerbeds. You path choice looks great.
    Maybelline´s last post .."Hasta La Vista, Baby"

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  13. Jodiana on May 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    The path looks awesome! Very natural, like it’s always been there.

    Reply to Jodiana's comment

  14. KimH on May 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I agree… the stone looks wonderful.. its my favorite as well. Job well done.. :)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  15. Chris on May 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Love stone paths too and yours looks great…the only problem with them is that in time that grass will start creeping right over the stones, so you will be constantly trying to cut it back! We have an abundance of hazelnut shells here in the northwest, so we’ve made paths and also used them for mulch in flower beds. Very pleasing to look at…especially when wet…and such a lovely, crunchy sound when you walk on them!! :)

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  16. Atarah on May 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I’m curious about your filling in a raised bed with the sod you had removed for the stones. Did you turn the sod upside down and use it as the frame to the raised bed or did you put the sod directly into the bed? I have a neighbor who had told me about viewing a raised bed made using sod turned upside down instead of tradional raised bed frames. I think that might look real nice and natural. I’m always trying to sort out ways to use up unwanted sod.

    Reply to Atarah's comment

    • Susy on May 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      I have used both methods, this time I put the sod upside down in an empty wood raised bed that I had in the back garden that I wanted to fill. You can see here where I made raised flowerbeds by turning the sod under in this post: Liberating Even More Lawn.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Atarah on May 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm

        Super helpful Susy, I think I’ll definently use your tip about covering with leaves,and straw then amending the soil as needed. Thanks!

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