The walkway to our home consisted of a messy stone path, overgrown plants that were half dead and the stumps of old plants from years gone by.
The stones went past the entry door and stretched across the entire length of the front of the house. There was no trim or border keeping the stones in place, so they had meandered into the front lawn and our lawnmower loves to find them and spit them at my legs.
Ideally, this stone path would be replaced by a poured cement walkway – one that is easily shoveled when we get snow. But that’s not in the budget yet.
So I got to work figuring out what I could use to beautify this walkway without a lot of money. Here’s what I have unlimited resources of: wood. I also have medium to large stones throughout the property. The plan: create a border with these resources.
To add a little bit of character to the path, I decided to change the shape of it from an “L” shape that spanned the length of the house and took a sharp right at the end onto the driveway, to a curved path that stopped at the entry door.
If you have ever tried to move small stones, you know how much of a pain they are. I used a shovel to get the first inch moved over. Then I found a layer of landscaping tarp that had long deteriorated which was covering another layer of stone. I found a rake was good at gathering piles of stone and moving them. And sometimes I just sat on the ground and gathered by the handful — throwing them to the area I wanted them. Just moving these stones was a project that took weeks.
Full disclosure, once I got the first layer of stone picked up from the area in front of the house where I didn’t want the stones, I decided I would cover the second layer with dirt and then plant grass. I was tired of moving these guys.
Once I got the basic shape of my pathway, I started placing my large stones as a boulder, but found I was woefully short of making a complete border. In came the endless supply of logs from all of the dead trees we keep taking down.
I placed a couple of rocks together and then laid some logs and then repeated the pattern. I think it turned out cute and rustic looking.
Here’s a pic after we were “flocked” by our church youth group.
The only issue is that the logs will rot away over time, but as I (and my lawnmower) discover more large rocks on our property, the plan is to replace the logs with rocks.
(Update: We found enough to replace all of the wood with rocks by the end of fall.)
As for the overgrown plants — hubby and I took turns chopping them down (they really couldn’t be saved) and digging/chopping the stumps out to make room for now plants.
Most of my new plants were given to me: a coworker was getting rid of hostas, someone gave me tulips because they know they are my favorite flower, and the hydrangea was a gift from my mom. We also found people on Craigslist who offered their day lily plants free if we just went and dug them up. I have found that you can find these free plant offers late spring to early summer when people realize their plants multiplied over the winter.
I do think that someday (when we have money) we will pour a concrete walk way. But for now, this is my free walkway makeover.