DIY natural stone garden paths

A beautiful garden plot is hard to imagine without paved paths. It is best to use natural stone for these purposes. This is due not only to its practicality and durability, but also to the aesthetic side of the issue. Concrete products will never be able to compete in beauty with natural materials, which perfectly emphasize all the beauty of the lawn, trees and flowers. The article will discuss how to make garden paths with your own hands..


Advantages and disadvantages of natural stone for walkways

Garden paths paved with natural stone speak not only of the good taste of the owner of the site, but also fully emphasize the landscape design. Their use is universal and fits all stylistic directions. But besides its decorative functions, natural stone is still valued for a number of advantages:

  • a large assortment of textures, colors and sizes will make it easy to choose the right option;
  • it is enough to lay it with your own hands, and therefore, you do not need to hire professional workers;
  • long service life at any temperature conditions. Natural stone does not deform and does not crack from heavy loads and seasonal heaving of the soil.

The disadvantages include the following points:

  • this is an expensive material, acquiring it for tracks, you will have to spend a large amount;
  • has a lot of weight. Even if the volume of the purchased stone is small, it is not always possible to take it away on an ordinary trailer for a car and unload it yourself. Additional costs for renting a forklift will be required;
  • it will never be possible to calculate the exact amount of material required, since it has a non-standard shape. In the process, you will have to buy or attach the remaining surplus.

Tip: natural stone for paths of all breeds can be classified as an elite material. Frightening, at first glance, the price quickly pays off and is justified. Since when paving with concrete stones, it is necessary to carry out repairs almost every year and change individual cracked elements.

Types of natural stone for paths

The types of natural stone imply two concepts at once – this is their breed (shale, sandstone, etc.) and its type (cobblestone, flagstone, etc.)

Depending on the breed, stones are endowed with certain characteristics and appearance. They are composed of the mineral composition and origin of the stone and are endowed with individual advantages and disadvantages. For paving garden paths with your own hands, it is preferable to choose sandstone, quartzite, granite, shungite and slate.

  • Slate has a layered structure due to minerals located parallel to each other. Therefore, they can be divided into flat plates of different thicknesses. It comes on sale in the form of small slabs so that it is convenient to work with it manually and select the dimensions for the tracks. But among the shale there are minerals that have high porosity. This negatively affects their performance. Quartzite slate is the best choice for walkways..
  • Granite. It is considered the standard of strength and durability. Such a stone, without any changes in its characteristics, will last 200 years or more. It contains minerals such as feldspar, mica and quartz. The color of the stone depends on the amount of spar in its composition and can vary from dark red to gray. This stone is widely used for outdoor steps and walkways and playgrounds.
  • Quartzite. In fact, this is also a slate with mica in its composition. Quartzite shale is characterized by hardness and strength. While these properties are considered an advantage, it is quite difficult to handle. This stone is multi-colored, its tone depends on the lighting and can be either more or less saturated. On sale you can find almost white quartzite, reddish or with a green tint. Due to its beauty and durability, it is perfect for paving garden paths with your own hands.

  • Shungite. Perfect for both traditional and contemporary garden paths. As for the color, it has all shades of gray, right down to black. In the presence of quartz inclusions, it can have golden or white patterns. In nature, this rock is monolithic or layered. In the first case, it is characterized as a very durable mineral that can withstand several hundred freezing cycles. It is resistant to chemical attack and does not change its appearance even in places with intense stress on it.
  • Sandstone. Perhaps this is the most popular and demanded natural material for garden paths. It is less durable when compared to granite, but it is also durable and will serve no generation of site owners. Moreover, it is easy to process and therefore has an affordable price. Sandstone is available in various colors: gray-green, pink, light yellow, fawn or light brown.

In total, there are several types of natural stone suitable for paving a garden path with your own hands. These are chipped paving stones and sawn stone, comparatively the same in shape. Stones of chaotic shape and size – cobblestone, flagstone, boulders.

  • Flagstone. It can be of different thickness, size and shape (split into small elements specifically for the convenience of paving), but always has a flat surface. Chipped edges are not processed. It can be easily and quickly installed as garden paths or recreation areas, even with your own hands. As a base on which it is laid, both a sand cushion and a gravel or concrete base are equally suitable..

Garden path do it yourself photo

  • Chopped paving stones. The path lined with such a stone looks very noble and elegant. Natural paving stones are made from durable minerals such as granite or shungite. The workpiece is split into small rectangular elements. Due to the uneven edges and a fairly large width, rather large seams will form between them (up to 1.5 cm). If the foundation was made correctly, a garden path made of chopped paving stones will last for many decades, even without curbs..
  • Sawn stone. As the name suggests, this type of natural stone is the most processed. Its edges are sawn with an even cut and sanded. Therefore, when paving, you can create an almost monolithic canvas, with a minimum seam thickness between individual stones. This is especially convenient if you intend to walk on them on stiletto heels..

  • Cobblestone. Suitable only for creating decorative tracks. Thanks to the shape of the stones, which are small in size and rounded, very beautiful paths are created among flowering shrubs and ornamental trees. A wide range of colors and a variety of rocks, allows you to create real masterpieces, laying out not only narrow paths, but also real stone panels. Due to their rounded shape, it is very difficult to walk on them..

DIY natural stone garden paths

The most versatile and simple stone for paving a path in the garden is flagstone..

  • It can be laid both on a sand cushion and on a concrete base..
  • In any case, the markup of the future track is done first. Then the fertile soil layer (20 cm) is removed. Most often, such paths in private gardens do not provide for borders, but if there is a desire or need to install them, then this is done at the very beginning..
  • Then sand is poured and compacted. If necessary, make a concrete screed from above with reinforcement.

  • If the stones are dirty, there is clay or sand on them, they must first be completely cleaned with a brush and water from a hose. And then the creative process of selecting stones according to their configuration begins..
  • If the base is concrete, then the thickest stone is laid first. And if it is sandy, then the order is not important, since you can always add sand or remove the excess, thereby displaying everything one level at a time.
  • First, a rough “fitting” of stones is done. Therefore, it will take chalk to number them. Putting the first stone, write a large number “1” on it in the center, select the next element to it and designate it with the number “2”. At the same time, on the line of junction of these two stones, they also make designations that the stone number “2” will border on the stone number “1” exactly in this place. For this, the corresponding numbers are put down in small print..
  • According to this principle, a section of the track is assembled. If necessary, and it often arises, the stones are corrected with a grinder with special circles designed for cutting natural stone. Having prepared the desired section of the path, the stones are carefully taken out and folded next to.

DIY garden paths drawings

  • For high-quality stone laying, you need to purchase a special glue. In accordance with the instructions on the package, it is mixed in the right proportions with cement and sand. The consistency should resemble thick sour cream.
  • The concrete base is cleaned of sand and dirt (it is advisable to wash it with a hose and let it dry). The glue is applied to the back of the stone with a spatula. On thinner stones, the mixture must be applied more in order to align them in height with the thickest.

Advice: the glue should be applied evenly, no cavities or air bubbles should form in it.

  • The stone with the glue solution is pressed against the path as tightly as possible so that there are no air gaps. All excess glue will come out on the sides, it is immediately collected with a spatula or trowel and placed back into the container.
  • Next, put the next workpiece and immediately level it horizontally using a level. Due to the fact that the stones are already numbered, the work will go quickly and the glue will not set ahead of time.

  • At the end of the paving, the path is left to dry for a day. After this time, the track is cleaned with a stiff brush and washed with running water. The first few days, if the weather is dry and hot, it is recommended to moisten the track with water.

Paving a garden path of stone without cement

  • First, you also need to make markings for the future track. If the shape is curved, then it is convenient to use paint in a spray can to mark the boundaries.
  • Then a trench is dug with a depth of 20-30 cm.If you come across roots of shrubs or trees, they must be completely removed, so that the bottom of the trench is even and smooth.
  • The first layer is laid with black geotextile with a density of 80 and higher. The width of the material is chosen so that it can be closed with an overlap in the future..
  • Next, a 10 cm layer of crushed stone is poured and compacted. It will create a rigid base and will act as a drainage, diverting water from the walkway..
  • Covering the crushed stone with geotextile, sand is poured over it. Its layer should completely fill the height of the trench. It is spilled and compacted until the base is flat. Additionally, it is checked with a long rule and, if necessary, add sand.
  • Natural stone is laid on top and compacted by tapping a rubber hammer.

  • The resulting gaps between the paving elements are filled with a dry mixture of cement and sand in a ratio of 1/10. The excess is swept away with a brush.
  • During the first 2-3 weeks, some stones may sag. Therefore, you need to carefully monitor the condition of the path and, if necessary, raise individual stones and pour sand under them..

DIY garden paths

Another option for a garden path made of natural stone is pebble path. Due to the compact size of the stones, it is easy to do it yourself. You can choose any winding shapes and not worry that you will have to process the stone a lot, adjusting it to the size of the track.

  • But this version of the garden path is only suitable for pedestrian areas in private gardens. It will not withstand a more intense load. Pebbles are a very small stone, if we neglect the arrangement of the curbs, which create the necessary rigidity, after a few years the pebbles will disperse, and weeds will begin to grow in the resulting cracks.

Tip: if the track still could not be saved from weeds, it can be treated with herbicides from a sprayer. But the concentration should be twice as high as indicated on the package..

  • Maintaining a pebble or gravel path is easy. Twice a year, treat with weed preparations and, if necessary, add pebbles.

Combined track. Several types of natural stone are used for it at once. For example, large flagstone or sawn stone with wide gaps filled with small pebbles looks beautiful.

  • The design of garden paths, made by hand using stone and wood cuts, looks no less beautiful and original. Such garden paths are especially harmonious if there are buildings made of natural wood on the site..

DIY stone-look concrete garden paths

Natural stone, undoubtedly, looks very beautiful and has many advantages, but it becomes very slippery in the rain and in the cold season. Concrete paths are devoid of this drawback, due to the rough surface. But in appearance they are very inferior to natural materials..

  • But today there are special plastic forms for the garden path with their own hands. They look like a reusable formwork on several stones of different shapes at once. If, when preparing the mixture, pigments are also added to the concrete solution, then you can achieve the maximum resemblance to the stone.

  • There is another way how to make a garden path with your own hands using a form in appearance that is as close as possible to natural material. First, a cement slurry made from ASG, cement and water is poured into a mold preliminarily lubricated by working off. And without waiting for the solution to set, 1 or 2 colored pigments are poured directly over it in the form of a dry powder and immediately begin to grind it in a chaotic direction with a trowel. For example, you can combine brown and yellow at a time..

DIY garden path video