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    Creating a garden path


    Summary: Learn how to create a garden path, build a paved path and construct a gravel path.



    Garden paths can be created from a variety of different materials including paving blocks or slabs and gravel.


    Creating a paved path

    Before you start, you will need to have access to a block splitter to cut the paving blocks to size. It will improve the quality of the finished path as well as speeding up the job.

    • Start by laying out the shape of the path using wooden pegs and string.
    • Once you are sure of the shape, size and direction of the path, excavate to a depth of one paving block plus 50mm (2in) for the sand bed.
    • Position treated edging boards along the edge of the dug out path.
    • Secure the edging boards by knocking wooden pegs into the ground just behind the boards, using a mallet.
    • Compress the soil with a rammer.
    • Spread sharp sand into the excavated area and level it off by dragging a batten cut to fit between the edging boards down the length of the path.
    • Place a paving block on the path to check that it lies flush with the top of the edging boards. Making any necessary alterations by adding or further compacting sand underneath.
    • Lay the paving blocks in your chosen pattern, butting them against each other.
    • Blocks cut to size will need to be fitted in the spaces. To cut paving blocks, place a block between the jaws of the block splitter and align the block with the cutting line. Then simply pull the lever down so the splitter breaks the block cleanly.
    • To bed the blocks, knock them in with a rubber mallet.
    • Use a spirit level to check the path is even. If one of the blocks is not quite level, remove it and re-level the sand underneath.
    • Spread kiln dried sand over the path you have just laid, so it covers all the gaps and joints.
    • Use a compacting plate to compress the paving blocks so they are bedded more thoroughly. Avoid scratching the blocks by shielding them with a layer of sand.
    • Brush over the path once the paving blocks are suitably compacted. Sweep as much of the sand as possible into the gaps between the paving blocks.
    • Let the path settle for 3-4 days, before going over the surface again with more sand to fill any remaining gaps.

    Position treated edging boards along the edge of the dug out path.

    Spread sharp sand into the excavated area and level it with a batten.

    Use a block splitter to cut your paving blocks to size.

    Sweep as much of the sand as possible into the gaps between the paving blocks.


    Creating a gravel path

    • Lay out the shape of the path using wooden pegs and string.
    • Excavate the path area to a depth of at least 100mm (4in) deep.
    • Position treated timber edging boards on either side of the path and secure them with wooden pegs knocked into the ground.
    • When you are sure the boards are level, screw the board to the pegs.
    • Then lay weed-proof membrane on the base of the excavation, making sure there is an overlap between separate pieces of material.
    • Spread hardcore onto the membrane surface, applying it about 50mm thick as evenly as you can.
    • Compact the hardcore with a rammer and lay gravel on top, then rake the gravel evenly adding more where necessary.
    • Over a period of weeks, when the path has been allowed to settle, you may need to add more gravel.

    Position treated timber edging boards on either side of the path and secure them with wooden pegs.

    Spread 50mm of hardcore onto the membrane surface as evenly as possible.

    Lay gravel over the hardcore layer and rake the gravel so that is it level.




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    Tools Needed
    • Sting line
    • Spade
    • Shovel
    • Rammer
    • Claw hammer
    • Rubber mallet
    • Spirit level
    • Mechanical compactor
    • Block splitter
     
    Materials Needed
    • Treated timber edging boards
    • Paving blocks
    • Edging boards
    • Sharp sand
    • Gravel
    • Kiln dried sand
     
     
     
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    Tools Needed
    • String line
    • Spade
    • Shovel
    • Spirit level
    • Claw hammer
    • Screwdriver
    • Garden rake
     
    Materials Needed
    • Treated timber edging boards
    • Screws
    • Weed-proof membrane
    • Hardcore
    • Gravel