Having procrastinated on those grass paths in the back garden long enough, this weekend I hauled home two trunkloads of limestone pieces and got to work. Naturally, I ran out of stone while laying the path on Sunday, and I knew the stone yards would be closed through Tuesday. Meanwhile we have company coming over today, and I couldn’t leave it half-finished. So I used some of my leftover stone strips from the sunburst path around the stock-tank pond and made a diamond-shaped insert. A biscuit-like river rock in the middle is the finishing touch.
Making a path like this is pretty easy—meaning it doesn’t require a lot of technical skill, but it does require a strong back and plenty of sweat equity when temperatures are in the upper 90s (35.5 C). After digging out the grass, a chore I hired out, I spread 3-4 inches of paver base and used a tamper to compact it.
Then I put down a couple of inches of sand.
Next I laid the stone. It’s best to use stone that’s at least two inches thick when dry-laying (rather than mortaring) a walk; it’s less likely to lift up on one end when you walk on it. Fitting the stone together takes patience. It’s kind of like putting together a puzzle. I checked to make sure each piece was level with the others as I went along. An existing slope ensured that water won’t pool on the path when it rains; if the space had been flat, I’d have built in a slight slope.
When the stone was laid and level, I swept sand across it and filled the cracks. That’s it.
I’m happy to have a firm, level path from the deck to the garden. Next up: the sloping side-yard path. There’s always another project.
All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.