Weekend DIY: Lay out a garden path

Replace the muddy rut in your yard with a stylish garden path

By Jay Somerset

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Brick, cut stone, mulch–whichever you choose, you will need to lay down a base of coarse crushed stone to keep the roadway level. If you’re laying down in clay, consider also adding a small PVC drainpipe down the centre of the path, in the gravel base, to improve drainage. Drain holes should face down.

To help water drain off and away from the path, install the path so the finished surface is proud of the ground, about an inch above grade.

Besides crushed stone, you will also need a layer of sand to make the pathway even more level, which allows you to move around your top material (especially bricks and stones) for an even, level fit. As well, it’s a smart idea to put a layer of landscape fabric between the gravel and the sand to prevent erosion.

The path surface

By now you’ve likely chosen your surface. If not, consider what sort of look you’re trying to create. Would crushed stone contrast well with the garden and yard? What about interlocking brick? Stone? Grass? Mulch? A mix? It’s really up to you.

If you’ve gone with brick, stone or concrete pavers, use masonry edging to hold the pieces in place. Masonry edging comes in aluminum, steel or plastic. Finally, you might consider installing an electrical conduit just above the base so you can easily add wires later, when installing a low-voltage lighting system.

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