A practical garden path with a great look. A paved path in the garden not only makes a good impression. Above all, it allows you to traverse the garden in any weather. The shoes always stay clean and no dirt is carried into the house. Creating a DIY garden path is a project that should be scheduled for a Saturday. After that, however, it is ready for decades and defies all seasons, wind and weather. Read everything you need to know about creating a garden path in this text.
Types of Garden Paths
There are basically two types of garden paths:
- Gravel garden paths
- Paved garden paths
Filled garden paths can be made very quickly and cheaply. They simply consist of a thick layer of gravel or bark mulch. This type has the advantage that it does not compact the soil and can be removed completely quickly and easily. However, they are not very appealing to the eye and are also not durable. Filled garden paths are constantly overgrown. They can only be cared for with painstaking manual work.
Paved garden paths, on the other hand, are not only elegant and make a professional impression. They are also very durable and usually do not need to be renewed.
Paved garden paths
There are four types of paving stones to choose from:
- natural stone paving
- brick pavement
- concrete block paving
- Concrete block paving with local formwork
Making a DIY garden path is identical to the first three types of paving. The concrete block paving with in-situ formwork is a bit more time-consuming to produce. But they are visually very interesting and particularly easy to build.
Construction of paved garden paths
A paved path is a construction project like any other.
The path consists of:
- Substructure with drainage and insulation
- foundation layer
- layer of sand
- Top layer of paving stones
- lateral support
The substructure keeps the foundation frost-free and dry. The insulation serves to prevent duckweed from forming under the path. Rainwater is drained laterally through the porous structure of the foundation layer. The foundation, consisting of frost protection gravel or crushed stone, carries the top layers, consisting of a sand layer and a top layer. The layer of sand creates an even, somewhat flexible blanket. The paving stones are laid precisely on it.
Instructions DIY garden path
Garden path made of paving stones – step by step
A garden path is a construction project like any other. Careful planning and implementation is required to achieve a lasting, beautiful and efficient result. Read here step by step how your garden path made of paving stones can be a success.
You need to lay paving in your garden:
- 0.3 m³ of gravel per meter of garden path
- 0.1 m³ of sand per meter of garden path
- plaster film
- flat spade
- Shovel or mini excavator
- approx. 1 bucket of quartz sand per 2 meters of path
- Roof battens, twine and earth paint
1. The planning
Carefully plan the course and width of your garden path. Also think about connections for branches that you might want to realize later. Space in a garden is always limited. Therefore, don’t build a “motorway” – but a path that is beautiful and functional, but still as narrow as possible.
A path in the garden is particularly attractive when it is curved. If the size of your garden allows for such a progression, then test it. Take a picture of your garden and draw different gradients until you find the most beautiful and practical profile.
For the width, you can use the following guidelines as a guide:
- Away from the street to the house entrance: 1.20 – 1.50 meters
- Path to the terrace or garden shed: 0.8 metres
- Path to compost heap or flower bed: 0.4 meters
The path to the street is used most frequently. In addition, it is used to transport all the furniture that is to be brought into the house. Therefore, this path should be wide and straight. A path to the patio or garden shed should be wide enough for two people to walk side by side. The path to the compost heap, to the flower bed or other less frequently visited places in the garden can therefore be chosen to be very narrow.
Another measure is the distance to hedges, walls, groves or border fences. With approx. 30 cm you have enough freedom of movement to be able to comfortably pass the path.
2. The batter board
The planning is complete, now it’s time to build. For this purpose, a batter board will be built along the planned path. Start with one page first. Then measure the width and place the posts opposite each other. The batter board marks the exact course of the path. In addition, the height of the cord determines the top edge of the patch. The cord can be set a little higher. However, it should always be straight or run parallel to the soil profile. Along the cord, the gradient is sprayed with earth paint.
First, the turf is removed. To do this, along the width of the path plus about 20 cm width is removed. A depth of 50 cm excavation is required to provide the necessary frost protection. Frost can quickly destroy a garden path, and then the laborious laying of the pavement was completely in vain. You can prevent this by observing the minimum depths when excavating. Depending on the length of the garden path, a mini excavator can be helpful here.
4. Level the pit
It is advisable to level the excavation with a tamper now. This makes the floor firm and stable.
Frost protection film is now laid out. The overlap of the individual strips should be at least 30 cm, ideally 50 cm.
6. Set limit
Paving stones need lateral support to keep them from slipping over time. The trade offers low rims or L-stones for this. They are set before the gravel bed is laid. However, there are also limitations in the form of plastic brackets. These are only set when the gravel and sand beds have been laid. This makes laying the patch much easier.
7. Lay out the gravel bed
Loose, binder-free antifreeze gravel or crushed stone is used as the foundation mass. Concrete is unsuitable because it would be very difficult to dismantle. If plans for the property change, the gravel can simply be dredged away again. A thickness of 10 cm is a minimum, about 30 cm is optimal. The gravel bed is distributed evenly and then compacted with a rammer or vibrating plate.
A slope of approx. 2° should be created along the path so that rainwater can drain off. You can use the batter board as a guide for this. A slope of 2° means a fall in the soil profile of 2 meters per 100 meters – or 2 cm per meter of garden path. If you want to work with plastic brackets for lateral support, the last step in the foundation is to bring in the elements.
8. Lay sand bed
On top of the gravel bed is a bed of sand about 10 cm thick. It gives the base course a straight, clean finish and makes it ready to receive the pavers.
9. Lay stones
The stones are laid dry end to end. When laying, make sure that you do not form any cross joints. Penetrating water and vibrations from walking make it easier to loosen the stones. Make sure that the top layer is absolutely level. The paving stones can be lowered a little with a rubber mallet. Here you have to be very correct when laying the pavement, otherwise you will create tripping hazards.
10. Sand in
The spaces between the paving stones are filled with fine quartz sand. First, the sand is distributed and then swept into the joints. If rainy weather is forecast, you should leave the sand on the cobblestone garden path for a few days. The rain then ensures that the quartz sand is washed into your DIY garden path. The excess quartz sand is then swept away. You can also flush the sand in with a garden hose.
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maintain garden path
A paved path weathers over time. Dust and moss settled on it. These can be removed very easily with a high-pressure cleaner. However, the sand filling is usually flushed out of the joints. If you want to give your paved path a thorough cleaning, calculate the subsequent sanding again.