Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Stone Pathway that Grows

Can you believe I reached the end of my stone? I emptied the truck the day I brought the stones home but only yesterday did I finished my stone projects. Please keep in mind that finished is a relative word since many of my projects are ongoing. You might remember a little while back I added a few stones to begin a stepping stone pathway between our deck garden and the birdbath garden. I used many of the large flat stones from my latest rock hunting excursion to add to the pathway. Unfortunately I ran out of stone to complete the path but not before I managed to complete a large section of it leading from our patio to the side yard (AKA Eventual Shady Side Corridor).


I've annotated the picture to help you see the areas around the pathway better.  If you follow the pathway it leads you along the house all the way over to the side where the arbor stands. There is a gap between the newly laid stones and the arbor itself that I'll fill in over time. You will also notice in the picture that there is a very large stone just in front of the viburnum. I don't have a close-up picture but I can tell you it resembles a very large home plate in shape. I situated it so that it would be a good stone to branch off with a second pathway to the right. The first pathway and the (eventual) second pathway will circle around the viburnum and connect near the stone bench in front of the birch tree.

I dug each of the stones into the ground so that the riding lawnmower would have no problems traveling over them. I tested it last night and while the stones might have been a little bumpy to mow over (most natural stones are) there were no issues. Encouraging a low growing ground cover might be an option for the future.

I followed a few simple steps to set the stones:

  • I laid the stones down with the flattest side up since it would be the best side to walk on.
  • I spaced them out to the desired distance. In this case they matched my normal walking pace. (Anyone else is out of luck!)
  • I used my shovel to cut an outline of the hole around the rock. Then moved the rock.
  • I cleaned out the hole of sod and left loose soil underneath to make setting the stone easy.
  • I replaced the stone and filled and holes along the sides with more loose soil. 

Another option would be setting the stones then filling in with topsoil but since I didn't want to change the grade of the land or take a trip to get topsoil setting the stones in the ground was the best option. But I also think that digging in the stones is less work!

8 comments :

  1. Way to go! It looks great and I'm sure you've earned a good rest. :-)
    At least on a bench outdoors in a shady spot so you can admire your efforts!

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  2. Good job, Dave -- you really have an eye for design! It looks great. :)

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  3. You have been busy the last few days, haven't you? You can tell that it has paid off and they look great.

    Jake

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  4. A very great amount of work! Looks fantastic. I did this with broken concrete here and love it!

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  5. Looks great Dave. A real natural way to go.

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  6. Rocks in a garden are fantastic! I finally purchased 2 pallets of a Penn. stone last spring because the rocks in our region are shale (they split very easily). Even though I hated the idea of actually buying rocks, once I had everything in place, I never regretted doing it.
    I made a stone border for a very large garden in the front of my place. Wish there had been enough to create a pathway like yours!

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  7. Time to go get more stone. If you're anything like me you won't be satisfied until the stepping stones become a solid walk.

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  8. Lovely job, i need to buy some natural stone slabs so i can build a nice footpath in my garden

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