Laying a stylish gravel path

Laying a stylish gravel path


Posted 13th Jul 2015

Do more than get from A to B with our guide to laying a stylish gravel path.
A garden path is a practical addition to any garden and can double as low-maintenance design feature to make the most of your outdoor space. Follow our simple guide to laying a gravel path to get your garden summer ready.

Gravel path
Preparing the foundation
Before you can start to lay the path, you'll need to prpare the sub-base - a layer of compacted broken bricks and stones, known as hardcore, that will provide the foundation for the path. Mark out the outline of the path using builder's lines attached to wooden pegs. Remove the top soil by cutting the turf in strips with a spade and roll it up. Next, dig the area to 100mm deep and use marker pegs to mark the height that the finished hardcore should reach. Tip enough hardcore to come just above the top of the marker pegs and compact it using an earth rammer. Cover the surface with a thin coat of sharp sand or all-in-ballast and rake it level. 
Next, mark out your concrete footings for the kerb using builder's lines attached to wooden pegs. These footings need to be a width of about 75mm from each side of the kerb and dug to a minimum depth of 75mm. Hammer in marker pegs at 1m intervals down the length of the dug out footings so that the pegs stand 75mm above the excavated ground. 
Gravel path - step 1
1 Pour a concrete and aggregate mix into the trench until it is level with the tops of the marker pegs. Leave it to set for 48 hours.
Gravel path- step 2
2 Using a towel, apply a bed of mortar on top of the concrete footings for the edging kerb to sit on. Use a builder's line to align the edging as you set it down on the mortar.
Gravel path- step 3
3 Build up the mortar on both sides of the edging kerb using a trowel, to secure the edging in place. Make sure you keep the mortar lower than the path level, and ground level on the outside edge, so that you won't see the mortar once the path is finished.
Gravel path- step 4
4 Make sure the hardcore sub-base is firmly compacted. Cover the base with a mixture of coarse gravel and sand, to a depth of 50mm. Level it out using a garden rake.
Gravel path- step 5
5 use a garden roller to compact the coarse gravel and sand. If you don't own a garden roller or don't want to buy one especially for the job, you can hire one from companies such as HSS Hire or Jewsons.
Gravel path- step 6
6 Cover the surface with fine pea gravel to a depth of 18mm-25mm and roll it again using the garden roller. 

Photos [Step-by-step images: B&Q's You Can Do It manual, main image: Garden Trading]
Feature: Laura McLeish






Related articles

Inside Ella Russell’s Instagram home: bathroom makeover

Inside Ella Russell’s Instagram home: bathroom makeover


Keep your house warmer this winter with these easy steps

Keep your house warmer this winter with these easy steps


Best pink gins for 2020

Best pink gins for 2020


Valentine's Day at home: everything you need to create the perfect night in

Valentine's Day at home: everything you need to create the perfect night in


MARCH ISSUE ON SALE NOW! Just £1.99!

Subscribe to our newsletter