The Complete Gardener's Guide,
Taller Edging Bricks Help Contain Bedding Plants
Taller edging blocks are used along the new path to hold back soil that runs alongside the path, keeping a neater appearance for the garden.

Materials Needed

  • tape measure
  • bubble level
  • pegs
  • string
  • hammer
  • nails
  • spade
  • trowel
  • shuttering boards
  • gravel
  • sharp sand
  • hand rammer or plate compactor
  • paving blocks or bricks
  • rubber mallet
  • garden brush

Step 1: Measure the Path

Mark with string and long wood pegs, spaced every 5 feet. Allow enough room for shuttering boards and decorative edging.

Step 2: Make Room for Gravel and Sand

Dig out enough soil between the string to accommodate layers of gravel and sand as well as the blocks. Check levels along the path using a bubble level.

Step 3: Build a Slope

The path must slope gently to one side in order to drain properly. Angle it away from house or garden walls to avoid water problems. Check levels again.

Step 4: Enclose the Path Area

Enclose the path area by nailing the shuttering boards to the pegs. Check levels once more; any adjustments can be made by easing the pegs up and down.

Step 5: Spread a Layer of Gravel

Use a hand rammer or rented plate compactor to tamp it down thoroughly.

Step 6: Spread a Layer of Sharp Sand

Level the surface by pulling a length of wood across the path toward you. Fill in any hollows with extra sand.

Step 7: Lay Block Paving

Use shallow blocks to sit on the sand’s surface. Full-sized paving bricks should be tamped into the sand and left above the surface by 3/4 inch.

Step 8: Fill Gaps With Fine Sand

Paving bricks are butted up close together, but other paving types require regular spaces. When you have finished laying and tamping, brush finer sand into the gaps.

Step 9: Provide Planting Holes

Consider removing one or two small pavers to provide planting holes. Plant with low alpines; these will soften the appearance of the path.

Step 10: Add Decorative Gravel

Finish off block paths by brushing decorative gravel into the gaps between them. This isn’t necessary for brick paths since the blocks are butted up together.

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