A Path Less Traveled

in House



This lunch was missing only one thing: salsa!  Otherwise, it had all the fixins of a perfect patio lunch – tacos with refried beans and hummus, carrots, and rice.


Oh, and most importantly…


A big bowl of juicy watermelon.  So delicious.


When I was growing up, my mother always told me that her exercise was gardening.  I never believed her until I did some heavy garden myself – oh yeah.  It’s definitely a workout.  And today, our workout involved creating a gravel path.


The area off our deck was just a big of dirt and mud, which doesn’t work too well when you have two dogs.  We consulted our friendly Home Depot landscape department and decided a gravel path was the way to go.  Now – I’m a huge fan of the do-it-yourself blog Young House Love, and although I’ll be blogging about a lot of our DIY stuff, I want to reiterate that we have absolutely no idea what we are doing with any of this stuff.  First time homeowners just tryin’ to find our way.  So, I’m definitely not saying, “Follow our guide step-by-step and you’ll have a lovely path!” – go to YHL for advice like this.  My DIY blogging will probably be a mixture of mild successes and awesome failures.  Hah.  True story:  When we walked into Home Depot on Sunday, we found a salesperson and literally said, “Hi.  We’re new here.  We have no idea what we are doing.  Please help us.”


Anyway, this is what we started of with:

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Step 1 involved leveling out the ground and digging a trench for the border.  I left this task to the Husband (ah, pregnancy – you are an awesome and legitimate excuse to get out of hard labor).  Although we’re not a fan of the monkey grass adjacent to the house, the roots will help with drainage, which is definitely important for this area, so the plants stayed.


Step 2 involved putting down a weed blocker (my duty) and installing the border. 


And finally, Step 3 entailed pouring the gravel.  We went with a pea-sized gravel so it doesn’t hurt the doggies’ paws.


Where we were at when we stopped for lunch:


We’ve still got some graveling to go (each bag is 50 pounds so we could only haul 18 bags home at a time).  On either side of the path will be mulch and flowers. 


Before and Progress pic:

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Not bad for our first gravel path!



  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 3, 2012, 2:17 pm

    Oh my goodness, that is quite a project!!! Kudos to you all, I don’t think I’d manage that on my own!

  • Cindy Robinson April 3, 2012, 2:20 pm

    Looks great! Home projects are so much fun, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Can’t wait to see the end result. I love the sound of walking on pea gravel 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 3, 2012, 2:27 pm

    Looks like some excellent progress there! I love DIY projects when I’m in the mood for them (unfortunately I haven’t tackled too many gravel paths yet!) And what I love even more….. watermelon. Can’t wait till they’re cheaper than the current $10!!!

  • Sara April 3, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Very nice! We had some gravel out back by our deck and I think the first homeowners were trying to do something like this. We need to do something for sure. Muddy puppy paws aren’t good!

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 3, 2012, 2:38 pm

    Well done! Lunch and gravel path. My husband just recently put down some gravel on both sides of our patio. I love the look.

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life April 3, 2012, 2:48 pm

    My hubs and I bought a HUGE DIY house (thank you cheap foreclosure!) last year and we are slowly, very slowly, making it ours. We too have no idea what we are doing but 10 months later and about $10k (when we budgetd $2k, whoops!) we almost have a totally remodeled bathroom!

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat April 3, 2012, 3:14 pm

    I love the quick & easy taco idea!

  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 3, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Ahhh, it’s watermelon season, YUM!!!!

    Major props to you guys! I swear, I drool over every project YHL does, but I just don’t know if I have the patience (or creative skill) to do most of those projects!

  • Taryn April 3, 2012, 3:23 pm

    I can’t wait until I have a house and can do (or make my boyfriend do) all these things!

    • Caitlin April 3, 2012, 7:43 pm

      hahah it is very fun. i’m enjoying it a lot!

  • Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl April 3, 2012, 3:24 pm

    Wow, you guys are on it! I don’t think I would have been on to outside projects that fast! It took me forever to get the inside of my house how I wanted it before I even began to think about the outside. Humm..that’s prob why I haven’t got around to the outside yet. :/

  • Laura April 3, 2012, 4:05 pm

    Looks great! I lived in a basement apartment for a year and a half and the path to my entrance to the house was gravel. Sometimes it was a little difficult to walk on so they got some square pavers (maybe 12×12 or 14×14?) and just nestled them in the gravel about one stride apart. It was especially great on days when it rained, when I wore sandals (kept rocks out of my shoes), or when I was carrying a lot of stuff. Just wanted to pass along the idea!

  • Jamie April 3, 2012, 4:07 pm

    Just came in from the garden (it’s actually my full time job!) and I agree, such a workout! Have a pile of kale, radishes, and carrots ready for dinner!

  • Becca April 3, 2012, 4:30 pm

    You guys are doing a great job!!! Looks fantastic! I really want some watermelon 🙂

  • elizabeth April 3, 2012, 4:49 pm

    Looks great! Have the gravel delivered next time! It is easier not to mention much cheaper than buying individual bags.

    • Caitlin April 3, 2012, 7:43 pm

      nice, good to know!

  • Corrie Anne April 3, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Well, I’m definitely impressed!!!! Looks like a ton of work. Love hearing about newbie DIY!

  • Emily April 3, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Very impressive!

    Your rosemary looks gorgeous! I’m jealous; that’s my favorite herb. You should bake some focaccia.

  • Moni Meals April 3, 2012, 5:32 pm

    Wow! what a project. 🙂

    Good eats!

    Rosemary is so good for you too. 🙂

  • Sonia the Mexigarian April 3, 2012, 5:55 pm

    I have yet to see watermelon around these parts. (Bay Area) Watermelon makes me think of Hungary and my family there. Watermelon stands alongside the roads, getting to taste it before we buy it….. We would have watermelon almost after every meal during the summer. Beautiful, juicy, sweet water melon. ;_;

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery April 3, 2012, 6:50 pm

    I think the path looks great! Muddy paws are definitely bothersome and I wish that my new dog didn’t like to literally roll around in mulch and gunk. Not much I can do about it but wipe her off before she steps on the white carpet and furniture! (I’m a rented apartment so the furniture and carpet choices were not my own) Thank goodness for dark blankets!

  • Elisabeth April 4, 2012, 12:49 am

    That path looks great!

  • Amanda April 4, 2012, 7:32 am

    Looks great!

  • Amelia April 4, 2012, 7:39 am

    That path looks awesome! Talk about some serious new home motivation!! 🙂

    I agree that true gardening can be a workout. Last week I put in our garden in the back yard. This involved removing the sod, leveling the area, adding soil, then planting. Major workout = lifting sod and moving it around the yard. My abs and legs got a great workout!

  • Mary Carol Reddick April 4, 2012, 8:32 am

    Wow…ya’ll did a great job! I happened to read the “Dog House” post before this one… and the first thing I thought when I saw that pic of Maggie & James by the path/mulch area was… “Wow, those sellers really made a nice space around the deck to get the house ready to sell!” 🙂

  • Linda @ Lemons April 7, 2012, 2:02 pm

    WOW!! That is amazing, I can’t believe you guys did that without knowing anything. I know there is a tv show where a couple of guys wander around Home Depot looking for a couple who needs a backyard makeover, and they buy all of the stuff and help them totally redo their backyard. I’d love if that happened to me! I guess I need to hang out at Home Depot more.

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