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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stepping Stones in the Garden

I really like using rock and stone in the garden. I've used rocks and stone for two main uses: as stepping stones or as borders. I prefer natural stones that have a rough hewn look. I like the irregular forms, the variety, and the general natural quality of the stones. The problem is the perfect flat stones are not readily available or are very expensive. Being on the cheap side I went a couple other routes to add some stepping stones to the garden.

The easiest thing to do to add stepping stones is to buy the cheap concrete stones from the box stores. They definitely look manufactured but the price of $0.99 per stepping stone makes it worth it!

Stepping Stones to traverse a garden - garden incomplete...

I've used them in a few places to traverse gardens and to construct miniature pathways through them. A definite plus when you have a long garden you don't want to walk around or children who like to play in the pathways!
 
I've also used them in a small patio alongside out garden shed. The stones aren't leveled yet but you can get a general idea on how it will look when finished.

Stepping stones to make a mini-patio - not finished yet!



Of course to get a more natural look you can easily make your own stepping stones. There are all kinds of recipes from hypertufa to just different concrete mixed but I chose the easiest route possible - cheap 40 lb. bags of high strength concrete. I mixed the concrete according to directions and poured it into my forms.


Homemade stepping stones.
 
If you look closely you will notice that the forms are actually cardboard boxes that have been cut into 2 inch tall sections. They won't hold the concrete in by themselves but when you dig the hole to inlay the stepping stones and place the cardboard form inside you can backfill soil against the forms to make the stepping stones nice and square. Once I remove the forms the stones should all have a solid rectangular shape. You can use any strong cardboard to do this and make all kinds of shapes. It's a great use for all those diaper boxes!

My son at 2 months!


As you can see we have a good reason for going through a lot of diaper boxes!

7 comments :

  1. What a cutie!! And a sweet way to end your post. :-) Yep, making your own stepping stones are a super way to use those boxes. Plus, have you seen the little letter kits for imbedding letters (words) in your stones?

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  2. Making your own stones is a cool idea. Your son is adorable!

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  3. Good gravy that's a cutie pie there!! Stepping stones look good too.

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  4. That baby looks like he will be helping you make those stones by next year! I have bought some of the Home Depot irregular blue colored stones and they look very good with mulch around them, almost like the real thing.

    Eileen

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  5. Your son is just adorable! I see he's a Vols fan ;)

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  6. How cleaver to make the stones from diaper boxes!

    I love the way you used two different colors of stone to make the checkerboard look! I never thought of that! Well, duh....

    Amazing how quickly those little ones grow isnt it? Such a sweet smile on that little mans face....

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