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How to lay a garden path

Warm weather means more days outdoors, which means you need a charming garden path that’s both functional and attractive for you and your guests when it’s time to entertain. When most people think of laying a pathway with bricks, pavers or stones, they instantly envision days of labour. Well, this project is perfect for beginners and can be completed in just one day.

 

For the best results, use small paving units such as bricks, blocks, cobblestones or reclaimed bricks. Once you have all your materials, you can complete this project in no time.

You will need:

Tape measure
Long pegs and string
Hammer
Spade
Spirit level
Wire nails
Wood guide rails
Building sand
Hand tamper
Bricks or pavers
Sledge hammer
Rubber mallet
Broom

Here's how:

Measure the path and mark it with string and long wood pegs spaced every 50cm. Don't forget to allow for guide rails and decorative edging. Hammer the pegs gently so they stand up on their own.

Start by marking out the path and digging out the soil between the string markers to create sufficient space for the graded base and sand. Then, nail guide rails to the spaced pegs to help enclose the pathway. If necessary, cut bricks to fit the particular pattern or any obstacles of the pathway, like the edge of a wall or a tree.

Spread a layer of sharp sand along the entire path. Level the surface by pulling a piece of wood towards you. Fill in any gaps or holes with sand. Begin laying whole blocks and once complete, fill in any gaps with pieces cut to fit. Ensure the pieces are placed firmly into the sand with a hand tamper on a flat piece of wood.

Remove the guide rails, pegs and string and start digging on both sides to lay the edging stones. Position and secure the edging stones in place with a rubber mallet. You can either set them flush with the path stones or keep them a bit taller to prevent soil and other remnants from dirtying up the pathway.

For finishing touches, add masonry sand into the joints of the pathway. Remove an occasional block on the edge of the path to create a planting pocket and plant an aromatic herb, such as thyme. Then, just brush some gravel into the joints between the stones for a beautiful, high-end look.

[ via hgtv ]