NOTE: If you would like to skip my long and hilarious post and just see pictures of the patio I made (with my bare, muscular hands) just scroll down to the bottom!

As my devoted fans know, I have been engaged in building a patio for the last fourteen years.

Haha! Just kidding. That was a hyperbole, which is a fancy way of saying: a joke involving me cleverly saying fourteen years when I meant fourteen thousand years.

I have this dream of branding myself as a down-to-earth expert on human ecology with hands-on knowledge and experience, which is a fancy way of saying that I want to garden a lot, and get paid for it, and then write books that are loosely related to garden, and get paid for that, too. I also plan on sunbathing, and being generally fabulous and emitting high-potency fabulous rays at all times (except when I am gassy).

It’s my master life plan.

Anyways, all of this life-planning culminated with me moving giant blocks of concrete around my parents yard, day in and day out, since the last ice age. The idea was that I would do some landscaping, so that I could start a portfolio, so that next summer I could do some more landscaping. Obviously, this would lead to me becoming a millionaire almost immediately.

As it turns out, despite my enthusiasm, I had no knowledge of how to build a patio. Now, however, I have built one! With marginal success and no loss of limbs!

If you would like to learn from my success, here are the steps I took, and you can take, too:

Step 1. I decided to build a patio. This is the funnest step!

Step 1.5. Do not get hung up on ‘funnest’.

Step 2. I went to the hardwear store, where I found some nice tile on sale, which I bought for the patio.

Step 3. I cleared the area where the patio would be and levelled it.

Step 4. I stared at the tile, then at the ground, and then at the tile again. Then I went and got a glass of water, and then I continued to stare.

(Step 4 lasted for a really long time. If you would like to use the Kathryn Patio Building Method, be sure to schedule several days for Step 4.)

Step 5. I called my fiancee, who was born with instrinsic, masculine construction skills, for help. He was of course able to tell me what I needed to do. I doubt he has ever built a patio, but it doesn’t matter. He just knows. In a way this was frustrating, because I clearly DO NOT simply know how to build a patio, or anything else for that matter. It was also extremely arousing because in the event of an apocalypse, he will be able to construct shelter for me no matter the circumstances.

Step 6. Following my honey’s instructions, I put down giant blocks of concrete, and then cemented the tile to the concrete. Using real live cement, which I mixed myself. With my own two hands.

And with a stick, because cement is icky and gross and I didn’t want to get any on me.

In my last post about this project, I jokingly joked, with 4 hours to go before my parents came back from their vacation, that I would finish this patio AND making a real live working waterfall.

Well, internet, prepare to be amazed!


(drum roll)

I did! I made a real live working waterfall! And I finished the patio!


Now for your viewing pleasure! The photos!


Surrounded by Echinacea, Lavender, wildflowers and a Nanking Cherry on one side, raspberries, clover and a soon-to-be massive, climbing arctic kiwi on the other!


Side view of the rock garden waterfall. It’s about 2.5 feet tall, the little pond is 8 inches deep, 2 feet long and 1 foot wide. I’ll get a picture of the water flowing, too!