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?
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...
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.
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:
Here are a few looks that might inspire you:
Is *this* sort of what you're looking for?:
(check out some of the other plans as well...)
This looks like a good, inexpensive book:
(love that cover shot)
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