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How to Lay a Garden Path

How to Lay a Garden Path

A garden path is something that is often overlooked, but there is actually a huge amount of potential when it comes to planning a pathway. If you have decided to add a path to your garden then there are lots of things to take into consideration….

First, ensure that you have made a ‘path plan’ using the following tips:


  1. Plotting your path...

A hosepipe is helpful in plotting the course of a path, especially if you want the path to curve.  Ensure the width of the path is even all the way along. You can use a trail of household flour to mark out the path or if you need something that lasts a little longer, try a road marking spray-paint.  If you are thinking of using slabs or block paving, you can lay these directly on the lawn to experiment with different patterns – Don’t forget to take a photo of your chosen design to go back to when creating the finished piece!


  1. Decide what materials are best suited to your pathway…
    If the path is going to be used daily as an important route from one place to another, then you need to use a sturdy material that is well bedded down. If it is an ornamental path then gravel or wood chips are great options.


When you are happy with your ‘path plan’ take a look at these next steps…

The Sub Base - remember a sub base is essential to any pathway. The first thing to do is to dig down and remove all roots and debris. As a general rule, gravel will need an overall depth of around 100mm whereas block paving and paving slabs will need a base of up to 150mm, plus the depth of the paving you are using.

If you’re laying…

Gravel: Fit pegs and edging boards, line the path with landscape fabric, trimmed to fit and pour in the gravel to fill the path. Finally use a rake to make it level.

Wood chips: Compact soil and then lay an even level of bark over the top.

Paving: Start by spreading a bed of sharp sand on top of the sub base. You can then start laying the slabs. Bed them in with a club hammer and brush the sand off to finish.

Bricks: Line the insides of the sub base with plastic landscape edging. Next pour in sand (slightly damp) and compress. You can now lay the bricks, starting on the near side before working outwards. Leave around 20mm between each one. Using a rubber mallet gently tap the bricks into the damp sand. Finally sweep sand over the bricks until the joints are filled and leave them to set.

Garden sleepers make a great edging option to any pathway, but did you know that they can even be used for the pathway itself? See our article Create a Pathway Using Railway Sleepers for some inspiration.