A stone walkway can add an old-fashioned feel to a garden and, although the work may be tiring, it should not be difficult to build and should produce worthwhile results.
Step 1 – Plan the Location
Plan where the walkway will be. It may be that there is a path being worn in your lawn. That would be a good place to start.
Step 2 - Mark out the Position
Use chalk dust to mark out 1 side of the path. Mark the other side of the path and try to keep it the same distance from the first line. A good rule of thumb is for the path to be wide enough for 2 people walking side by side.
Step 3 - Cut the Path
Once the path is marked, start to dig the path out. If you know the thickness of the stone you will be using, add 2 inches to it the depth as you dig out soil for the path.
Step 4 - Firm up the Base
If you have a heavy garden roller or a tamper, go over the path you have just cut to make it firm.
Step 5 – Install a Weed Barrier
If you do not want weeds to grow through the path, put a layer of black polythene over the bottom of the path. On top of the polythene, lay about 2 inches of sand or fine gravel. Level the surface.
Step 6 - Laying the Stone
Stone is quite heavy so you don’t want to be moving it any more than necessary. If you have an area near the path on which to practice, you can try to fit the stones together. The stones should fit as closely together as possible. Mix and match shapes and colors of stones to create special effects.
Step 7 – Complete the Edges
Concentrate on getting the edges as close as possible to the cut route and fill in the spaces between. For spaces that are too small, you can smash a stone with a sledge hammer to make smaller stones.
Step 8 – Keep the Surface Level
Keep the surface of the stones as level as possible. Tripping on a stone pathway is no joke. If you cannot get a stone down to the level you need, simply lift it and remove some of the gravel from underneath it. Likewise, if a stone is too low, add more gravel beneath it. None of the stones should move when you walk on them.
Step 9 - Filling in
Once the rocks are arranged in the best way and are firmly placed, fill the gaps. Pour sand or fine gravel onto the pathway and sweep it around until all the gaps between the stones are filled. This will not permanently keep stones level so you will need to replace the sand as the path becmes less firm.
Your stone walkway should last for many years.