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How to choose a covering for garden paths so that it is both aesthetic and at the same time practical? There can be several answers, one of the solutions is to use pebbles for these purposes. This simple material has long been used by summer residents and has stood the test of time.
Pebbles for garden paths in most cases are cheaper than other materials, it is applicable in almost any climatic conditions, with any soil and terrain.
A well-arranged pebble path is distinguished by a beautiful texture and is quite comfortable for walking. Even the ancient Greeks used it to create platforms in gardens and courtyards, creating beautiful mosaic paintings by combining pebbles in black and white.
Pebbles of various origin are suitable for paving sites or paths in the country. Sea has a more rounded shape and less rough, but the river is the flattest of all types, and therefore most convenient for paving. Most often, mosaics from this pebble use specimens of medium and large sizes, which, however, does not prohibit the use of small pebbles. Ornaments from it can be invented very picturesque, because the color palette of the color of this material is very wide - from white to red and bluish-blue.
So, using your imagination and creativity, you can come up with the most amazing pebble patterns and ornaments. Note that in addition to natural material, you can use artificial material, which is rolled from marble, slate and sandstone. The artificial pebble has an even richer color scheme, in addition, it is characterized by increased resistance to abrasion.
Do-it-yourself pebble path: general technology
A pebble path with your own hands is a completely feasible task, even in the case of significant size. advises first to collect individual fragments and ready-made to transfer to a permanent place.
In the process, we will use a small capacity - formwork, composed of 4 bars. At its bottom we lay a dense plastic film and a metal mesh. Pour cement mortar on top of which a pebble pattern is laid out. To better decorate the material and cement, it is better to wet the stones first. After solidification, the finished mosaic fragment must be removed from the formwork and laid in its intended place.
There is also a simpler option that saves you time and energy - buy ready-made mosaic tiles that can be immediately laid. In these slabs, pebbles are selected by specialists so that its shape and dimensions create, as a result, a beautiful ornament that you just need to assemble on the spot. The physical properties inherent in the material make it possible to smooth out unevenness of the relief and mask the curvature of the surface.
The minus of finished pebble mosaic tiles is a rather high price. But if a river with a rocky bottom flows near the cottage, then from there you can get pebbles necessary for garden paths absolutely free. Material can also be purchased, while lake pebbles are valued inexpensively, large river pebbles will cost a little more.
Preparation of materials and tools for work
To make the track beautiful, first you need to select a pebble that is suitable in size and color. The design of the pebble path depends solely on your imagination, you can limit yourself to a simple combination of pebbles of two or three colors and lay it out with geometric patterns, or you can arrange a platform for the complexity and color of the pattern resembling a luxurious oriental rug.
Thus, to create a track you need:
- pebbles sorted by the necessary signs;
- consumables - purified sand and cement, from which concrete mortar is mixed in a ratio of 1 to 4;
- boards 30 cm wide and 5 cm high, from which a track template is knocked together.
- reinforcing metal mesh, its size should be 1 cm smaller than that of the template.
General track laying technology
Getting down to business for the first time, it is better to choose the simplest option - a straight path, the template for which is not difficult to make. We put wooden pegs along the lateral borders of the planned path, between which we stretch the rope.
Next, it is necessary to remove the fertile layer of soil, so as not to allow the grass to grow through pebbles and disrupt the entire ornament. Having removed a layer of the earth, we pour out several layers of sifted sand in its place, and we carefully compact each layer. By the way, it is recommended to first assemble a template for the track, and then start to fill the sand with the track, so it’s better to keep the contours of the track.
Having finished with backfilling of sand, you can proceed to the preparation of cement mortar. It is impractical to knead the entire volume of sand and cement at once, since laying pebbles can take quite a lot of time, and the solution that has not yet been used will have time to consolidate. They begin laying pebbles from one of the ends of the future track, although much depends on the nature of the drawings. Sometimes it is advisable to start laying from the center, if you plan patterns in carpet style.
Complex patterns are laid out with the help of appropriate patterns, which are placed on top of the poured mortar and only then begin to create a pattern.
Methods for laying pebbles
One way of laying is that first you need to lay out a template of colored pebbles, and then smear it with a concrete solution. It is important to ensure that the stones remain in place during the putty and the pattern is not distorted. With this method, sometimes you can do without a reinforcing mesh. The stones are not laid flat, but on the edge.
Another method of laying first involves the creation of small sections of the concrete base using a reinforcing mesh. Then, a pebble pattern is laid out on the solution in the template, and this must be done promptly in order to be in time until the concrete is fixed. Pebbles are placed on the edge in the direction along the pattern. Then the stones are rammed with a rubber mallet.
Which garden path to choose
When the whole pattern is laid out, go to fill the seams between the stones. The excess solution that appears on colored pebbles should be cleaned, for which it is convenient to use a metal brush.
The wooden form for the track can be removed after a day, and for the time that concrete needs to dry, you can cover the track with film.
Pebble paths organically fit into almost any design, introducing originality and grace into it. Having received theoretical training, it's time to move on to receiving invaluable personal practical experience, which we hope you will share. Good luck!