Hello, (almost) summer! Warm weather means more days outdoors, which means you need a charming garden path that’s both functional and attractive for you and your guests when it’s time to entertain. When most people think of laying a pathway with bricks, pavers or stones, they instantly envision days of labor. Well, this project is perfect for beginners and can be completed in just one day — no contractor required. And wouldn’t it be the perfect addition to your outdoor space? (Yes, yes it would.)
Laying a Path, Step-By-Step
For the best results, use small paving units such as bricks, blocks, cobblestones or carpet stones (like the ones used in this project). Once you have all your materials, you can complete this project in no time. Get the Full List of Tools and Materials >>
Start by marking out the path and digging out the soil between the string markers to create sufficient space for the graded base and sand. Then, nail guide rails to the spaced pegs to help enclose the pathway. If necessary, cut bricks to fit the particular pattern or any obstacles of the pathway, like the edge of a wall or a tree.
Spread a layer of graded base and then masonry sand along the entire path. Level the surface by pulling a piece of wood along the guide rails towards you. Fill in any gaps or holes with sand. Begin laying whole blocks and once complete, fill in any gaps with pieces cut to fit. Ensure the pieces are placed firmly into the sand with a hand tamper on a flat piece of wood.
Remove the guide rails, pegs and string and start digging on both sides to lay the edging stones. Position and secure the edging stones in place with a rubber mallet. You can either set them flush with the path stones or keep them a bit taller to prevent soil and other remnants from dirtying up the pathway.
For finishing touches, add masonry sand into the joints of the pathway. Remove an occasional block on the edge of the path to create a planting pocket and plant an aromatic herb, such as thyme (above). Then, just brush some gravel into the joints between the stones for a beautiful, high-end look. Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions Here >>
Do you plan on adding this garden pathway to your outdoor space? We’d love to hear your tips and see the before and afters. In the meantime, give your porch, patio or courtyard some design love with these summer-inspired inspirational ideas from our design guide, At Home, Outside.