Making a Garden Pathway: Day 2

Mud & pea gravel definitely don't make for a nice garden path!

Mud & pea gravel definitely don’t make for a nice garden path!

Today is actually not the 2nd consecutive day of my garden pathway!  I didn’t have quite as much time to invest this weekend and ran into a bit of trouble, so most of my work this time was repairing a section of the path and figuring out how to make a nice terminating end by the fence, which I hadn’t really thought through until I got into it.

The weather was rainy last week with a late afternoon thunderstorm every day.  I was pleased for the most part how the partially built pathway held up, but when I got out on Saturday morning to continue working on it, I noticed that the lower edge by what will become my stair steps was a mess.

I had used a bunch of rocks that I repurposed from being strewn around the backyard as a kind of border of one side of the path coming down the hill which you can see along the bottom of the the picture below.  But when the rain came, the dirt in my future flower bed turned to mud and oozed between the rocks into the pea gravel.

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When I saw it, I pretty much jumped right into repair mode & didn’t take time to photograph it… sorry!  I scraped all of the muddy gravel up and hauled it to the driveway so I could figure out what to do about the problem & then deal with cleaning the gravel off.  This was a great lesson in providing drainage and an adequate solution for water flow and is something any landscape designer (which I am not!) knows about!

It was clear that the rocks wouldn’t cut it as an edge to the path, so I used one of my 8′ steel edging pieces to create a clean edge for the path.  But first, I had to move the landscaping fabric out of the way and do some clean-up of the dirt, and dig away enough of the left edge to put the metal edging in place between the bottom step and the fence.  That still left me with the question about how to end the path at the gate (or if I even wanted to end it there).

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Since my path was 4 feet wide, I decided to use a couple of 4′ strips of edging (which yes, I had to go buy) to create an “L” shaped terminus for the path.  But this actually cleaned up, from a design perspective, the path very nicely and I was able to give this section of the path a very neat and finished look.

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The thing that was clear to me (and this is a matter of personal preference) is that the edge of the garden path is much prettier with the edging creating a clean barrier than the rocks that I was trying to use, so I’m going to need to work that up on both sides of the “staircase.”

This repair job was quite the effort and took up a couple hours.  I wasn’t able to get much more done on the other side of the path except for moving more dirt in the patio area.  But at least the rain and little mudslide forced me to find a solution to a nagging problem that I had been mulling over for the week!

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Next weekend is supposed to be HOT, so I’ll try to get at it early in the morning and knock out as much as I can in the patio area.

Cheers!

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