How to Lay Stone Borders for Landscaping


Stone landscape borders create definite and attractive outlines of properties, paths, driveways and garden beds. Without those borders, paving materials may end up in your yard and edible and ornamental plants may suffer damage from lawn equipment. Though the building process is the same, unlike brick and block, free landscape stone is a cost-efficient way to create borders in your landscape design.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Soil tamper or 2-by-4 board
  • Gravel or crushed stone
  • Sand
  • Mortar (optional)
  • Dig a trench where you wish to install the stone border. Use a spade to excavate the trench and a tape measure to ensure that you dig the trench at least 6 inches wide and deep.

  • Level the bottom of the trench by checking the bottom with a level and removing more soil from high points. Compact the trench base with a soil tamper or the end of a 2-by-4 board by repeatedly pounding the tool against the trench base until the soil is hard and resists shifting.

  • Apply a 3-inch thick layer of gravel at the base of the trench to create a foundation for the stone border and prevent stones from sinking later. Smooth and level the gravel or crushed stone layer with the spade and check the trench with a level before proceeding to compact the gravel layer with the soil tamper or 2-by-4.

  • Gather flat and broad landscape stones that measure at least 4 inches thick and nearly the same length or width as the trench width. Begin setting the stones into place in the trench, fitting the pieces as closely together as possible, despite the odd shapes. Fill the gaps between stones with additional gravel or sand.

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