If you’re looking out your window at your backyard and daydreaming about creating a little oasis, complete with your own version of the yellow brick road, but think it’s impossible, think again. With gravel, which is the least expensive and easiest material to work with when creating a garden path, it’s easier than you think. Gravel is soft to walk on, but solid enough to accommodate weighty items like a wheelbarrow. By following these tips, you’ll have your backyard looking like something out of a gardening magazine in no time.

  1. Think About Colour and SizeGravel comes in many sizes and colours, so your vision will likely be able to be fulfilled. When you talk to gravel suppliers, make sure to tell them what you’re using the gravel for. Smaller stones are more comfortable to walk on, while larger stones fair better in the rain.
  2. Decide on a BorderA border will give your path real character. Metal edging is thin and it will give your path a crisp look—like there’s no border at all. Set the edging about an inch higher than the actual path to best contain the gravel. It can be held in place by metal stakes. You can also choose a stone or brick border. Both are elegant looking and will give your path real appeal.
  3. Set Things in MotionLaying the path takes elbow grease, with a lot of shovel muscle and wheelbarrow pushing. Once you have marked out the area for your path, remove any sod, or anything else growing in the area. Then flatten the area earmarked for the pathway with a spade.
  4. Add a Membrane LayerBy laying a piece of old carpet down before adding the gravel, you will let moisture pass through but will separate the gravel from the soil. This helps to keep weeds at bay as well.
  5. It’s Gravel TimeHave the garden gravel supplier deliver the gravel in your driveway if they’re able, so it will be easily accessible. Now it’s time to lay the gravel. With a rake, spread the gravel out onto the membrane to about two to three centimetres deep. Make sure it looks even, and if you’re using coloured stones, make sure that they are well mixed so they look attractive.