How I do the pathways…

I’ve tried to lay my pathways.. so they flow and move with the tree roots… I begin by digging the foundations for the pathway out… I go down about 18 inches or so.. going a bit deeper at intervals.. digging around the roots where possible.. so as not to damage the trees… I then use an alpine stone hardcore.. which is whacked down if I have to lay the path straight away.. or ideally left to settle naturally for a while.. before whacking it down. I then put a mix of dry sand and cement down and whack it down again… Usually the night damp air set’s it… This leaves the stones underneath some movement.. whilst strengthening the top ready for the pathway to be laid…

I lay the pathways in sections of about a metre at a time.. starting with the edgings… The mix is laid about 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick… The mix I use is 3 of sand to one cement.. I also put plasticicer in… I then put a layer down and manuvour the trowel through it to create air pockets.. so the stones tap in easily… I then lay a section of different stones on top getting them into place before tapping each one in gently with a rubber hammer.. so as not to knock the others out of line.. going over each one until it’s bedded and lined up… You can use a spirit level to do this.. but I tend mainly to do it by eye then finish by smoothing the edge off and creating a plate… The reason I do this is so when roots grow and winter weather hits.. the pathways if they are going to crack.. tend to do so at these edges.. allowing the trees to grow with minimal damage to the pathways… It’s easy to fill in the edges again and saves a lot of future work…

I cut the stone with a hammer and chisel.. this particular stone is indian stone and granite… I also use.. marble.. various slates.. cobbles.. rocks.. marbles and metal profile cuts… I put them out in piles.. so I can just reach over for the sizes I need to bed in…

I lay the next section.. then when that’s done I go back to the first section and point it in… I spend time doing this pressing the morter in more firmly each time I go over it… This takes any air pockets out and pushes the mortar into the crevices of the stone.. so there’s less chance of cracking when the winter months arrive…

I’lI do a final smoothing of the pointing after I’ve packed up for the evening… I usually do about 2 to 3 metres per session.. depending on the material… pattern and depth of design… 😀 I always have my music on too whilst working it get’s you flowing… I mainly play chilled out music.. or if I need an energy boost something a bit more upbeat… 😀

Sections of pathways…

Jen. xxx

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