Create an attractive walkway on your plot
In this article we’ll be talking about an often unsung hero of garden design, and one of my favourites. The humble stepping stone! As the seasons start to change you might start to notice your lawn showing a bit of wear and tear from the constant use it endures in summer. Stepping stones are a great way of adding a playful walkway through and adding a bit of interest and dimension to your garden. They’re also great for smaller gardens as they protect a lawn which might otherwise become trampled with use – and they make the space appear larger by breaking it into sections. They’re great fun for little ones to hop along, and they can add a really charming touch to your garden. What are you waiting for?
Stepping stones are a really cost effective and simple way to give your garden a quick facelift. You can pick up paving slabs for a song at most garden centres or even salvage yards – and there are also lots of quirky designs so you can really get creative.
Let’s get started!
You will need:
- Paving slabs or your choice of large, flat stones
- Sharp spade
- Rubber mallet
- Sharp sand
- Top soil
- Grass seeds, if required
- First scope out the track you want your paving stones to take – it’s a good idea to take the stones along a path that you’re likely to use regularly, for example to the shed. You might want to lie them flat on the lawn and run upstairs to peer out of the window and check your arrangement.
- When you’re happy with the layout, trace around the edge of each slab with your spade, cutting into the earth by a few centimetres.
- Remove the stones and set aside.
- Use your spade to dig up the dirt inside each cut-out shape, digging about 2cm deeper than the depth of the paving slab. Make sure there’s a firm, flat base.
- Spread a shovelful of sharp sand over the bottom of each, level it out and tamp it down so it’s nice and firm.
- Place the paving slabs in the holes – checking they’re sitting about a centimetre below the level of the lawn so that when you mow the lawn, the blades pass cleanly over the top of the stone. A few taps in each corner with a rubber mallet will make sure they’re securely pressed down.
- Sprinkle some soil mixed with grass seeds around the edges, if there are any gaps. Use your fingers to press this soil down so that the stones don’t wobble.
- If you fancy something a little more special, you can plant small alpines around the edges and in between the stones – just water in well unless rain is forecast.
- Finally, clear up your work by sweeping over the surfaces of your new stepping stones. Voila!