Rocky Meander: Backyard Solutions Magazine

Article originally published in Backyard Solutions 2012 Country Almanac #150 p. 120-121.

Stone steppers provide safe passage along a hillside stream

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BEFORE: Wood beams made a ho-hum stairway to connect lawns over a slope.

AFTER: A 60′ stream and stone steps create a naturalistic and inviting journey down to a lower patio.

On a several hundred acre site near Wausau, Wisconsin, landscape designer Susan Murphy Jones, APLD, offered Mother Nature competition in fashioning a naturalistic stream, reflecting pools and rocky paths. The owners of this estate, with a trout stream running along the property, asked Murphy Jones to create a water feature to provide access to the bottom of the property, where they wanted a sitting area. Murphy Jones built a reflective pool at the top near the house and another at the base of the hill, with a patio area connecting the ponds. On one side is a staircase of stones, planted horizontally for safety and well lit for night-time enjoyment. Murphy Jones brought in boulders and rocks in all shapes and colors-and arranged them casually here and there as nature would have.

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