Garden paths

Garden paths are usually meant for walking alone, and therefore they do not need to be any wider that 0.5-1 metre. A wider path, leading to a garden arbour or a playground, should be at least 1.2 to 1.5 metre wide, although additional 20 cm would be useful. Depending on the paving materials you will be using, a foundation trench to the depth of 25-40 cm and an appropriate width must be dug first. Using a sharp spade, scrape off the topsoil, remove all organic matter, rake the ground and compact it firmly.

Spread rubble or crushed stone to a thickness of 10-20cm, then add another 5 cm deep layer of sand or grit, and firm down well. Once the sub-base is finished, you can go ahead with laying the blocks or slabs. After the paving is down, point the gaps between the blocks with dry jointing sand. Using a stiff brush, remove any surplus sand off the surface, and water it well. Should you want to install any plants in the crevices of the path, joint the pavers with planting soil, rather than sand. Various drought-tolerant alpine plants, well adapted to surviving in a handful of soil, would grow comfortably in those conditions.

When paving with stones of different sizes, the larger ones should be bedded first, followed by the smaller ones. Unique paved surfaces can be created when using combinations of different paving types, such as stones and large tiles, riven stone and large field stones, decorative gravel and cobblestones.

A path of dolomite stepping stones makes a pleasing accent in a garden setting. This is achieved by laying a stone slab on the turf, and cutting around its perimeter using a knife. Lift the stone, remove the turf and fill the cavity with sand. Place the stone to appear as if naturally bedded, backfilling the gap between the stone and the soil with more sand.

© Giedra Bartas, 2009

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *