For weeks my mother was complaining about the little patch of ground in our backyard – she wanted to have it cemented so that she is free of its maintenance, the constant sweeping, planting some seeds and the disappointment. I urged her to consider alternatives to cementing which will be devastating for the water level in the well we have next to it. The final option she got convinced of was the idea to spread river sand and lay stones on top of it, to make a walking surface.

Does walking plain foot on these polished stones help? I don’t know, but my orthopaedic doctor recommends it for my flat foot. Many public parks do have it now in Chennai and I have seen many regular walkers using it, in few places the stones are laid out in a layout resembling the number ‘8’ shape.

The patch in my backyard was about 10 feet by 8 feet. I had to buy river sand for about ₹ 2000 (USD 29).  The stones were expensive, each bag cost was ₹ 600 (USD 9) and I had to use 16 bags to fill the area. The total cost was ₹ 11600 (USD 168). Each square foot of area cost ₹ 145 (USD 2.1), but in the end, it seems to be worth it. Let me walk on the surface for some time, before giving a verdict!

Step 1: Cut all the dead plants, clean the ground thoroughly and level it.

Step 2: Pour river sand from bags and level it.

Step 3: Pour the polished stones (like river pebbles) and then spread them evenly, I literally placed one by one by hand as this was not a large area

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