You can’t find the right stepping stones for your garden or lawn? Then it’s time to DIY. This project is a piece of art. You can either think big like a patio or small like a accent. The space will be so beautiful that you will never want to go inside. Thanks Fine Gardening for this lovely idea.
I pick up pebbles everywhere I go. I may have inherited this obsession from my grandparents, both geologists, whose garden was filled with beautiful stones they had gathered on expeditions. I inherited many of these stones and I’ve gathered countless others over the years. My collection piled up in buckets along the side of my house for a long time, waiting to be put to use.
Then I discovered pebble mosaic as an art form when I journeyed to Spain and Portugal. I had no idea that pavement could be so beautiful. The Plaza de España in Sevilla is carpeted in acres of river pebbles set in waves, and the sidewalks of Lisbon swirl with exquisite black-and-white patterns.
At my home in Portland, Oregon, I set about teaching myself how to make these mosaics, taking my collection of pebbles and setting them in mortar. I’ve been using essentially the same technique for many years now.
My first project was the patio in my backyard. I built it over an old pea-gravel patio, using curving forms for an undulating shape (photo at right). Since I’m interested in natural systems and universal symbols, I turned my patio into a series of mandalas, medicine wheels, dividing cells, quantum energy waves, snakes and spirals, eyes, and stone flowers. In addition to pebbles, I included colored marbles, which sparkle in sunlight and shimmer in moonlight.
The potential applications of pebble mosaic are amazingly diverse, the materials are relatively inexpensive, and the results can be spectacular. I’ve used this medium to craft stepping stones, pathways, patios, walls, steps, ponds, fountains, and edging strips for lawns (see panel below).