Paving a Functional Pathway and Patio for Family Fun

Images showing a home's backyard deck and paver path leading to a garage

Client Overview

Erin O’Brien and Alex Schneeman needed to replace the existing backyard patio at their St. Paul home. Erin said the previous owner “DIY’d” the previous one, and every paver was unlevel and out of place. The paver pathway to the garage was also a DIY job and was not only unlevel, but just one paver wide, making it impossible to fit a snow shovel on the paver to clear the snow.


The current paver pathway to the garage was a challenge because in the spring when the snow melted, it flowed to the lowest part of the yard. The water collected and turned to ice right at the entrance to the garage, making it impossible to open the swing out garage door. To correct it, the yard would have to leveled.

The triangle shaped vegetable garden made it difficult to access the veggies located in the back corner. Something would have to be done to remedy that as well.


Minnehaha Falls Landscaping leveled the yard and dug out the patio and path. A new patio of multi-colored blue and tan stone pavers was installed, each stone creatively placed to create a visually interesting and appealing final product. The finished patio is 12×20, with enough room for a round table that seats four, a grill, and two additional chairs facing the garden. Blue and tan stone pavers were also used to build steps from the back door down to the patio, and for the pathway to and around the garage.

The current vegetable garden was torn up, moved, reshaped and lined with rock. The new garden design makes the vegetable plants easy to access from all sides. Erin said, “We’re now growing tomatoes, broccoli, thyme, lavender sage, peppers and more.”

The existing lawn was also torn out and replaced, and a bee lawn was added to a section of the yard. Erin and Alex wanted to be pollinator friendly, and wanted a grassy area for their daughter to play in. “I love bumblebees and my daughter’s nursery is bumblebee themed,” said Erin. “I learned in college that bees are threatened, and all they do is help us exist. Now I can help them exist.”


The O’Brien/Schneeman family is now enjoying dinner on patio, and Erin and Alex are looking forward to watching their daughter play in the backyard. And it sounds like MFL will be invited back to tackle the front yard. “We love the MFL crew. They are friendly, responsive, and they communicate what they’re going to do and when they’re going to do it. And when they run into challenges, they tell us what’s wrong and recommend how to handle it.”

As the education and advocacy branch, we work with community partners to create safe places for our pollinators, one garden, yard, business, school, church, conversation at a time. We know that together, we can build the buzz! Learn More
As the construction branch of Minnehaha Falls Landscaping, we build outdoor decks, steps, railings, pergolas, fences, and planters. When it gets colder, we step inside to remodel living spaces with creativity and craftsmanship, including cabinetry. Learn More
As the gardening branch, we work within your landscape to grow plants, flowers, shrubs and woodland gardens that are beautiful, restorative, and safe for birds, people, pets, and pollinators. We also install bee-friendly lawns and do spring and fall clean-up. Learn More

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Call us at 612-724-5454 to see what is possible with landscape design and construction, organic gardening, and indoor remodeling.