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11 messages
23/08/2013 at 11:55

There is an old straight path running up the middle of my garden from the house to the vegetable patch at the back of the garden, approximately 50ft long. The path/garden slopes steadily away from the house.

The garden is mostly lawn at the moment (although I have started installing beds). I have only lived here a couple of years and the lawn has obviously spread over the path over the years and there is nothing visible on the surface other than a sunken walkway. Today, I dug out a short section of the path out to see what was below. The path has a concrete edge and the path itself is made up of quite uneven small blocks of stone - a bit like crazy paving. The path is lower than the surrounding lawn by about 5cm.

I am looking for ideas on what to do next. Do I dig the whole lot out and keep the uneven stone blocks, or could I possibly cover with something and install some tiles/bricks/stepping stones.

Will try to get some pictures up later.

23/08/2013 at 12:00

To clarify, I have dug out the thin layer of grass/soil which had grown over the path along a short section, and I am thinking of removing the grass along the rest of the path. I'm just not that satisfied with the uneven stone blocks which are there (although I was expecting an even worse solid concrete path).

23/08/2013 at 12:08

 Please excuse the parched lawn!

23/08/2013 at 12:08


23/08/2013 at 13:36

Hi Cardoon. If you just want to put another path of some sort in there's not much  point lifting what's there so you might as well fill it in to the level you need and put your new paving stones in. If you  just want to have grass, it looks like the grass was already quite happy with the stone underneath so you could probably get away with filling up the 'hole' with more soil and re seeding, then cut out  bits for stepping stones if you want those. If the drainage isn't good because of the stones you're better lifting them though.

23/08/2013 at 15:09

Thanks Fairygirl. I'd quite like to have a path rather than turn it over to grass, as it is a well worn route from the house to the veggie patch!

I think filling the sunken area with gravel or bark etc might not be possible as it would slide down the slope. I had an idea of laying some reclaimed flat roof tiles I have seen down as stepping stones. If I wanted to do this, what would be the best way of laying them on top of the existing path without having to dig it all out?

24/08/2013 at 06:03


A very simple and cost effective way is to do what ive done,

I also have a 50 odd foot path leading from the pool down to the car parking area

like you i have lawn on both sides but our path has a bend in it,

What i did was to edge the lawn all the way down both sides and then fit wooden edging to keep the lawn edges firm and supported, (i later planted box along both sides of the lawn)

Having secured the sides with the wooden edges i then got old roof slates(i used the terroctta ones but you can use slate or gravel) the tiles i got from the builders yard used & broken "given away"

but any roofer will be only to pleased for you to have them as both the terroctta & used broken slate are waste and have tobe taken away.

By using a cement mixer (just break the tiles into small pieces and but them dry into the mixer and leave to turn around for 10 mins at a time the tile /slate comes out with no sharp edges,

You've already got your base layed,

Once layed down onto your path you have a path that moves as you walk on it and so weeds dont tend to grow but any weeds the birds drop can be sorted with a weed killer once a year,

Ive had my path for 3 years now and very few weeds to deal with.

The path looks warm and really country looking and the good thing is its a very hard wearing,

And a path you can push a wheelbarrow over in the winter without slipping,

It'll out last your life span and wont wear out,

It's not got that concrete look.

A bit of work but well worth it.

24/08/2013 at 19:56

Whatever you do you'll have to dig out a bit or refill so that you have a level area to put down your stepping stones. Although you have a slope the path really needs to be level or it'll be hopeless for wheelbarrows etc. no matter what material you use for it.  If you dig away the higher side you can put that along the low side to level it up. You'd also need to have a retaining edge of some kind (as SD describes above) so that you don't get the same problem in future - grass will grow over and reclaim areas whenever it can. That will happen on the higher side in particular. Timber is one of the easiest methods but you could use brick or stone or even make a little concrete edge if you're able, so that your path stays where it's meant to. Not sure how good roof tiles would be - are they not a bit small? If they were an option I think you'd have to treat them like paving - a firm base but then a bit of mortar to keep them in place. Don't think they'd be heavy enough to stay in situ like paving would.

24/08/2013 at 20:16

Hi Smokin Donkey

I suspect you are a soul brother to Le Salvager who laid a path of broken tiles on his plot in France ... hang on ... you could actually be him ... you have been rumbled.

25/08/2013 at 10:06

cardoon.. that is exactly how the paths in our garden our.. only ours is cheap crazy paving done in concrete and marked out... we are in process of breaking it all up with sledge hammer and using it as base for new paths..

we are concreteing over the rubble and then layin slabs and gravel.. but as the paths have sunk over the years as only laid on soil.. in places the concrete is 10ins deep to bring it up to level with the lawn and beds..

it has taken time to decide on a path and now taking alot of time to break up and re do.. but will be worth it in the end..

28/08/2013 at 12:31

Try and keep any new path below the level of the lawm, to make mowing easier. 

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