Flagstone Walk

It's time to put the walk in the side garden. I've been looking around at pavers, and I like the look of flagstone. Before I let my local garden center guy talk me into anything, I'd love some pointers from those who have done this. I want it to be three feet wide, and probably 60 feet long, and curved. The area gets quite a lot of water as it is a bit lower than the rest of the property, but I had it tilled and "drilled" so that it drains quite well. Any tips?
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On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 11:30:03 -0500 (EST), "Shiva"

Go here:
http://www.lowes.com/lkn?action=howTo&p=LawnGarden/CrtWlkWay&topic=howToLibrary
The important thing is laying a proper foundation. You want the three layers of foundation if possible.
"A firm foundation is the key to making that beautiful footpath a lasting addition to your property. A well-made path has three foundation layers. The bottom layer consists of 4 inches of large gravel for good drainage. Just above that is a 4-inch layer of pebbles or small gravel for support. It is then topped off with a layer of fine sand for the walkway material to rest upon".
I saw a recent show on DIY TV that talked about using 3/4 in. gravel for the medium layer and rock dust for the top layer. I think they said that it's even better than sand, mainly because it packs harder *and* you can use it as a form of "grout". You wash and brush in an additional amount fo the rock dust into the seams after you lay the flagstones (you have to do this several times over a couple of weeks until it doesn't wash away).
Yes, it's a lot of work, but it will keep the flagstones from shifting over the next few years and they'll stay level.
Of course, you can do what *I've* thought about doing and actually laying the flagstones a bit apart and letting grass and small low growing perennials grow in between. Then, you have sort of a "stepping stone" appearance. I've got books that show this to great effect and the advange is that you only have to dig out each stone separately (you *still* want a good foundation, but you don't have to be so intensive in terms of the foundation. You can simply use a single layer of "foundation", which you can buy at any home store (there are several different kinds, so ask your local HD or Lowe's guy which works best). A 50 lb bag runs less than $2 but you can probably also buy it in bulk. It tamps down very nicely and is almost as firm as concrete. I used it to lay my marble garden edgers a couple of years ago and they are still level. Of course, if any of the flagstones start to get "unlevel", it's pretty easy to level them individually, which is another advantage to doing it that way.
Also, in lieu of grass or moss or other plantings, you can leave the margins in between the flagstones done with gravel (the French do this a lot with their formal gardens). Lay down some plastic sheeting first and you won't have a weeding problem.
Hope this helps...
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dave weil wrote:

Makes sense. I guess I can't do it myself as hauling rock is a bit beyond my muscle power and current stamina. (Weighing in at maybe 112 soaking wet and "desk jockey" lack of muscle, I'm afraid.) But it's really hard to trust someone else to do it right. Something like this is a major thing on an old property like this, and if screwed up will not only piss me off, it will affect the resale value should I sell. I think what I have to do is find a walk I like locally and find out who did it.

This sounds like a really practical and effective way to do it.

That's what I want! They ought to get sort of mossy over there, too. I always liked that look.

I love this, but think I had better go with the solid walk. Lower maintenance, I think. Or maybe just simpler.
I've got books that show this to great effect and

Sure does. I envy you your strong back! I couldn't even get the bags of stuff out of the car IF I could get them in.
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On Sat, 6 Mar 2004 08:15:21 -0500 (EST), "Shiva"

Well, it's "lower maintenance" *if* the solid walkway is done correctly from the getgo. If not, maintenance is far worse due to buckling, cracking, etc.
Actually, laying flagstones in a lawn is far easier to install and maintain, since you deal with each flagstone individully. You can buy the flagstones from a local source and you can probably pay them a little extra to place them where you want them right on top of the sod. Then, you and a friend can do each flagstone. You'll need to cut around the margin of the stone with a shovel, move the flagstone and then strip the sod and then dig down a couple of inches and fill with the foundation material that I talked about (using the finest texture you can get - almost like sand, it's actually granite dust and packs well). Then you simply put the flagstone back in the hole and level. As a two person job, it's a cinch, unless you are using *huge* flagstones). I love the look of irregular flagstones that act as 'stepping stones". If you install them flush with the yard, you just run a lawnmover over them and edge however you'd like. And you can even avoid *that* by placing fairly close together and planting creeping thyme or any other creeping tight ground cover in between...
I've tried to find some good pics of this sort of look, but I can't seem to find anything that i like. However-
- a few links:
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_design_patios_decks/article/0,1785,HGTV_3568_1381934,00.html
Here are a few looks that might inspire you:
http://www.amazingballoon.co.uk/landscaping.htm
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_design_paths_walkways/article/0,1785,HGTV_3567_1392182,00.html
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_design_paths_walkways/article/0,1785,HGTV_3567_2143254,00.html
http://www.gardenphotos.com/samplers/paths.html
Is *this* sort of what you're looking for?: http://www.homestore.com/homegarden/gardening/landscaping/gardenplans/snst_design.asp?design=3&poe=homestore&tran=vud
(check out some of the other plans as well...)
This looks like a good, inexpensive book:
http://www.metrobooks.com/thegarden/fygpaths.html
(love that cover shot)
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