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April 27, 2009

Setting stepping stones

Filed under: Gardening,Outdoor — DO or DIY @ 10:24 am

In the previous article you read about how to cast your own stepping stones. Remember, you should leave them aside for a couple of days to set completely before you can lay them along your pathway.

As I said before, stepping stones are less obtrusive, easier and cheaper to lay than solid pathways. They are particularly suitable for long paths and as focal points. You can be imaginative with shapes and styles – the flexibility of concrete provides creative freedom..

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to make your own stepping stones, you can always buy them at garden stores. Either way, you then position & set them as per below:

First place all the stepping stones along the route of your path. Space them evenly, making sure that there is the right amount of space between them for a normal step. You can be creative by laying them along a curvy, wavy or geometric shape – if you decide to do this, go back and look at your layout from a distance. Make any adjustments before setting the stones.

When you’re happy with the positioning, cut the grass around the edge of the stone with a trowel. Remove the patch together with enough topsoil to accommodate the depth of the stone plus 1in (for sand). Ideally the surface of the stone should be a little bit lower than the surrounding ground, which will make mowing the lawn easier.

Having removed enough soil, fill the hole with 1″(2.5cm) depth of sand. The sand is necessary to keep the stone level and firm – if you spray the sand with a little water, the dampened sand will help the levelling process even more.

Now, having first prepared all the holes, set the stones one at a time. Try walking along the path to check how steady they are. If they’re a bit wobbly, put a piece of wood or board across them, and tap it with a mallet in order to even out the sand underneath. When one stone feels stable, move to the next one and check that.

Good Luck!

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