How to Design With Pavers and Stepping Stones in the Garden

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Pavers and stepping stones make pathways throughout the landscape. They are decorative, make passage easier and save wear and tear on lawns. Here are some ideas on how to get the most from using them.

  • Avoid straight lines unless the theme of your garden is geometrical. Let pathways wander or curve. And make sure they lead somewhere. Paths that lead nowhere are not very useful and can look downright silly.

  • Stepping stones and pavers can be made of an assortment of materials. You can have a special piece of art to mark a unique area or even put your name or your street address on a paver as an entry marker.

  • Using groups of paving materials like brick, stone or the like can go together to create seating areas or patios. You can get creative and mix your materials creating designs or pictures like large mosaics.

  • Wood rounds can make a good surface, though it might deteriorate faster than some other materials depending on your climate.

  • Materials can range from pre-cast stepping stones available at garden centers to elaborate sculpted stones from craft fairs. You can use a group of materials like bricks to make a section that reads as one big stepping stone, or you can separate your materials like single chunks of flagstone. If you are into making crafts, there are lots of ways to cast, cut and create your own stepping stones.

  • Stepping stone paths are perfect to lead through fencing. Or you can use them to lead traffic across lawns and avoid wearing the grass down.

  • To set single stepping stones or pavers, cut out the soil beneath to match the shape of the piece you are using. You can outline the shape with a stick or marking paint. Then dig down a couple of inches deeper than the depth of the paver. If you put builders sand into the hole to fill those couple of inches, your paver is more likely to set flat, steady and less likely to shift over time.

  • Use stepping stones to herald entrances, set paths, floor useful areas like barbecues, ring play areas or lead up to seating areas or frame a focal point. Decorative stepping stones can reduce tracked dirt and mud and keep traffic from straying onto more delicate areas. You can have fun designing and choosing materials for your paving. Using stepping stones and pavers can transform the ordinary garden into something special. And they are easy to install, move if you change your mind later, and are limited in creativity only by the imagination!

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