DIY: How to Lay a Stone Garden Path

Posted by Laine Smith on 4/26/15 9:07 AM

Topics: Home Ownership

Proper landscaping is one of the few home improvements that not only adds value to your home but appreciates over time and will help a listed home sell faster. What do most landscaping yards and gardens have in common? Pathways leading to, from and/or around the home. A stone path can add tons of character to your home's curb appeal and landscape. An added bonus: it's a practically foolproof project for novice do-it-yourselfers.


What You'll Need to Buy

  • Gypsum or flour
  • Decomposed granite
  • Compost
  • Flagstone (about 1.5 to 2.5 inches thick)
  • Groundcover (available in cell packs)

Tools for the Job

  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Hand tamper
  • Two stakes, string, line level
  • One or two 2x4's at least 6 ft. long
  • Stone or brick chisel
  • Safety goggles

Step 1

Outline the edges of your path with gypsum or flour. You'll need to measure the surface area of the path to estimate the amount of decomposed granite, compost and flagstone necessary for the project.

Step 2

Using a spade, excavate the soil in the area of your path to a dept of 4 inches. Rake to a smooth surface.

Step 3

Spread a 2-inch layer of decomposed granit over the path area, firming evenly with your hand tamper.

Step 4

Place stakes at each end of your path, tying a string at paving-stone height between them. Attach a line level to the string to ensure the path follows your lot's grade for proper drainage.

Step 5

Place pairs of flagstone slabs on top of the decomposed granite to act as guide stones. Lay the flat side of a 2x4 on top of the slabs at the level of the string. Arrange more flagstone pieces between your guide stones, using the 2x4 to keep an even level. Wearing safety goggles, use your chisel to break flagstone pieces into desired shapes. Allow a gap of 0.5 to 1 inch between pieces.

Step 6

After placing the stones, estimate the amount of groundcover you'll need to fill the gaps in linear feet. Plant the plugs of groundcover from your cell-packs, filling gaps with a mix of decomposed granite and compost. Water thoroughly.

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