Add Interest and Romance To Your Garden With A Stepping Stone Path
As you may already know, I have really “digging” my gardening lately. Since I started with a clean slate, it’s been rewarding and fun (not to mention the workout) to see the landscape design and garden come to life.
Early on, I envisioned a curved garden path that would add a romantic mystery and a sense of purpose to my sweet teak garden bench. I have always appreciated a pretty stone walking path that takes you on a short journey through sunny shrubs and stunning perennials in the comfortable shade.
How I Installed A Flagstone Stepping Stone Path
I am sharing how I installed a flagstone stepping stone path in eight simple steps. It is not as difficult as it looks, I promise!
The path I designed is a curved circular flagstone path from one side of the garden to the other. The garden bench is a stop along the way. Whether your garden is large or small, installing a path that curves can make the garden more interesting and prominent.
If you want to add interest and romance to your garden, adding a path is a simple can do just that! I wanted to use flagstone because it was more formal and matched our patio’s curved stone wall.
Choosing the type of stone for a walkway is simply a matter of taste. Just make sure the stone is thick enough so it won’t crack. To get the best price for flagstone, find locally available stone at garden centers or landscape suppliers. Stone is priced by weight, so choose pieces that are not too thick, it’s not necessary.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED:
Equipment / Tools
• Stakes and string or 2 garden hoses
• Flat spade
• Hand tamp
• hammer (as needed for edging)
• Scrap 2×4 board (not necessary but helps flatten the sand-gravel mix)
• Carpenter’s level (not necessary but is helpful)
• Edging material (optional)
• Landscape fabric and staples
• Quarter Minus gravel
• Large, flat stones
• Gravel, potting mix, plants (optional)
This what the garden looked like before the path
How To Create A Flagstone Path
In 8 Easy Steps
1. Lay Out The Design Of The Path
I used string and rocks to play with the curve of the walkway. Depending on how long your path is, you can use stakes and tie string to each stake. Garden hoses work great as well.
Since we were designing a rustic garden path, the path didn’t have to be too wide. If you are designing a high traffic area path, you will need enough room for two people to pass each other along the path.
2. Excavate The Path
My son Jake used a shovel and spade to cut the area for the path. If you are laying the way grass is planted, you will want to use a sod cutter to remove grass and vegetation.
Jake and I removed weeds and cut through roots to achieve a depth of 4-5 inches. It doesn’t have to be perfectly flat because you can use the quarter minus 5 inches. It doesn’t have to be perfectly flat because you can use the quarter minus sand to level out the ground and make it as smooth as possible.
3. Install Edging (optional)
The next step is to install edging along the path. This is not necessary, but we wanted to keep the walkway tidy. We used the following edging material on Amazon. The galvanized metal was stiff enough to bend but firm enough to keep the gravel filler in place.
BUY HERE ON ON AMAZON- This is the edging material I used.
4. Lay Landscape Fabric
Lay landscape the fabric over the soil along the entire path. In areas where weeds like to grow, I used two layers of the landscape fabric. We secured the material to the ground with landscape fabric.
5. Add Sand/Qtr Inch Gravel And Layer
Add one- quarter inch gravel (it’s part sand and gravel) or sand between edging or sides of the cut path. Add approximately 2 inches over the landscape fabric. Smooth the sand or gravel mix with the back of a heavy rake or a wood board. If you have access to a tamper, use it!
Spray the path with a mist of water to help the filler compact before setting the stones.
6. The Stone Design
This is the fun part. I found it helpful to lay the stone near the path to see the sizes and shapes as you start to put the stone puzzle piece together. You will want to Alternate large and small stones and different shapes and colors for a natural, random look.
This is much easier than I thought it would be.
7. Install The Stones
Begin placing stones into the sand bed of the walkway, fitting them together as desired. Leave small gaps between stones if you fill the gaps with sand or gravel; leave wider gaps (about 2 inches) if you plant between the rocks.
The key is to place each stone, so it is stable (without rocking) and leveled with the surrounding stones. Add or remove sand beneath each stone to raise or lower it, as needed. If necessary, use a chisel and rock hammer to trim the flagstones to fit. Tap the flagstones with a rubber hammer to seat them in place.
Fill the space between the flagstones with sand or one-quarter-inch gravel then sweep the loose gravel into the crevices between the stones. Spray the entire flagstone design with a fine mist of water to settle the sand or gravel. Add additional sand or gravel as needed to reach the height of the flagstone.
8. Plant And Or Decorate The Path
If you’re planting the walkway, fill the gaps with a potting soil mix, add “step-able” plants, such as wooly thyme, sedum, or bugleweed. Perhaps add rocks to line the path or? Have fun!
If you want to add some character to your garden- GO FOR IT! Trust me! If I can do this, you can too!
Let me know how it goes! Send me a note or pictures.