Before starting anything, you must plan the pathway project including every small detail. Decide on what material to use and inform yourself on the required steps to build a pathway.
Planning is the hardest part of constructing a garden pathway.
Purchase a 1/4 inch graph paper to sketch your construction plan. Be sure to scale the garden and building area accurately so that you can build the pathway as precisely as possible. Don’t forget to mark things like, trees, plants, garages and other things like there that may block the pathway. Try going to a local garden or zoo that has pathways. Observe how the pathways have curves and spacing between the stones. Choose the design for your pathway, whether it will be a small 2 foot wide path, suitable for one person, or a 42 – 48 inch wide path that is suitable for 2 people walking side by side.
Be sure to acquire the needed tools and materials: stones, leveling base, shovels, a wheelbarrow and even a hammer and chisel.
You can either build a solid pathway or a stepping stone pathway. The stepping stone pathway is easier to build and also looks more natural.
Use a round point shovel to dig out the thickness of the stones you will use for the pathway and another 2 extra inches. The 2 extra inches will be filled with gravel to allow the stones to position properly. This happens because gravel is a self-compacting material. If you do not use a self-compacting material under the stones that form the pathway, you may run into problems later. Make sure you add a layer of sand and gravel that will even out the base of the pathway.
To trim stones to the correct size, you must place them on a flat and solid surface and then use a hammer and a chisel on them. Also, for thinner stones, you can use a snapper tool that will cut stones to the right size and quite precisely. Keep in mind that trimming smaller stones is far more easier than handling and trimming larger stones. Don’t forget to draw a guide line on the stone so you can trim more accurately.