Concrete paths in the garden - a fancy slab shape
The traditional track height is 4-5 cm above the soil level.
So that the water does not linger on the track and does not destroy it, be sure to make a slight slope to one side or from the center to the sides. The total difference in height is enough to make 1-2 cm with a width of up to 70-100 cm.
On the side of the slope, you can lay a drainage gutter or simply dig a groove.
Benefits of using
If you want to equip the interior of your site, then concrete paths in the country are an excellent choice. This is due not only to the ability to lay them on their own, without the involvement of builders, but also to a number of advantages of this material.
- durability and strength
- simplicity of construction work
- ease of subsequent decoration using paving slabs or in other ways at the choice of the owner
- low cost and minimum effort in the delivery of materials
- the ability to choose any shape
- water resistance and fire resistance.
You can choose your own way to create paths in the garden. They can be, for example, straight lines connecting certain areas within the site. This option is simple to implement, but you need to clearly calculate the width. At the same time, this solution will not be original and often visually reduces the area near the house.
Paths with bends will take more work, but often only they can fit into the sophisticated style of the garden interior. You should also take into account the recommendations of the designers - the width of the central paths should be about 1 m, but for additional paths such parameters are not required. For them, you can limit yourself to 50-70 cm.
A simple concrete path is a practical and beautiful structure, but sometimes, in accordance with the author's intention, something more elegant is required, for example, the introduction of color or an imitation of a paving path.
In these cases, use one of the many decorating techniques that you can apply yourself. By combining them, you can get interesting decorative effects.
On the construction markets, you can buy special pigments of any color for concrete.
Ordinary cement has a gray tint, which persists with touch-up, giving any color a gray tint. For vibrant colors, apply a special super white cement.
To save pigment and expensive white cement, you can prepare 2 types of mortar and fill it in two layers: first, ordinary, and colored on top. The interval between fillings is no more than 20 minutes.
Concrete can be tinted not only in bulk, but also on the surface. For this, you can use a colored concrete fixer. It is scattered over the surface of freshly laid concrete and smoothed.
Then, to get an even tone without bald spots, sprinkle a little more fixer and smooth it again. The top layer of concrete is thus painted in the selected color, but has a grayish tint and looks very natural.
A good way to decorate a concrete walkway is to inlay it with colored tiles or pebbles pressed into the surface of the fresh concrete. You can lay out decorative elements arbitrarily or, in accordance with the idea, in the form of an ornament.
Freshly poured concrete can be embossed with paving stones, stone, wood or other texture by stamping. Forms for stamping are soft and hard. The stamps are applied to the concrete and pressed, and then they are removed and sprinkled with sand, a relief pattern is obtained.
You can even apply a pattern to fresh concrete with your finger or a spatula.
After that, the "seams" are sprinkled with sand and the concrete is allowed to seize. The result is an embossed surface.
An impregnation can be applied over the relief, which can give the surface, for example, a gloss, a wet stone appearance and other decorative effects.
Concrete paths can be made by hand, and they can be not only utilitarian, but also decorative. Applying the techniques of decorating concrete, you can create a garden path that is not inferior in aesthetic qualities to structures made of paving stones, saving time and money. In the absence of special equipment for processing concrete, the use of special additives for concrete, primarily plasticizers and fiberglass, and, if necessary, antifreeze additives and impregnations for concrete, is of great importance.
The main paths, say, leading from the gate to the front door, must be paved with durable and reliable materials, such as paving stones or concrete slabs. In this case, a considerable investment of time, effort and money is fully justified. But for less popular destinations, there is a simpler and cheaper alternative: stepping paths and "light projects" made of gravel or crushed bark.
They have enough pluses:
- firstly, they are laid without the use of cement-sand mortar and an expensive base, and the purchase of materials will not hit the pocket hard,
- secondly, such paths look more natural and comfortable.
When choosing a coating, it is worth thinking about the correct energy. The fact is that there are donor materials (pebbles, gravel, paving slabs, oak, birch wood) that are ideal for active recreation areas, and materials that absorb negative energy (sandstone, brick, bark, aspen) - they are irreplaceable for resting corners.
1. Gravel path
A gravel path is much easier to make than a paving stone.
For work, it is better to use angular pebbles, small and medium, because walking on large ones is not very pleasant. And of course, do not forget to lay non-woven material under the dump, otherwise the weeds will quickly spoil the look of the path.
2. Bark path
The crushed bark decomposes over time and turns into nutritious humus. Such a path is very environmentally friendly, however, the non-woven material laid under the bark cannot completely restrain the growth of weeds - you still have to remove them periodically. As a rule, you need to add new bark once a year.
Whichever garden path you choose, a durable non-woven material should be placed under the dump: it will inhibit the growth of rhizome weeds. Over time, humus accumulates on this litter, which is why uninvited green guests can settle even between the stones. Do not want to constantly weed the paths - renew the backfill and non-woven material every few years (this applies primarily to the bark cover).
If there is no clear boundary between the path and the plantings, bark and stones over time begin to migrate to adjacent flower beds. To avoid this, dig in boulders or bricks at the border. Plant spreading plants, such as a cuff or geraniums, along the edge of the flower garden - they will cover the edging. By the way, bark and gravel can also be used for mulching flower beds.
Advice: always leave a stock of material to add as needed.
3. Stepping track on the lawn: master class
The walking path is a simple and practical solution for moving around the lawn. Indeed, sometimes the emerald carpet is "lined" where it is simply impossible not to walk, and as a result, over time, unsympathetic bald patches appear on it.
Advice: The slabs must be level with the ground so that they will not interfere with the mower's operation.
Stop your choice on slabs made of durable material (in our example, porphyry), the required thickness is at least 4 cm. Pay special attention to the surface: it must be rough, because polished becomes incredibly slippery after rain. So, we turn to the direct work on laying the plates. First, set the boundaries and shape of the future track.
1. Place the slabs directly on the grass. The distance from the center of the slab to the center of the next slab should be no more than 60-65 cm.
2. Then, with a shovel, "outline" the outlines of each tile. Then they can be put aside. In those places where your path will run, remove the sod and part of the earth - the depth of the holes should be several centimeters deeper than the thickness of the slabs, so that later on the “cushion” of sand, the slabs lie flush with the ground.
3. Use a rammer to compact soil at the bottom of the cut. This is necessary so that the slabs do not settle later.
4. Pour 3-5 cm thick sand on the bottom and level it. Then lay down the plates. Alternatively, fine gravel can be used instead of sand.
5. Check with a level that the slabs are level. Make sure they are level with the ground. If not, remove the stove and add / remove sand.
6. Now hammer each slab with a rubber mallet until it sits more firmly on the sand cushion.
7. Fill the gaps between the slabs and the lawn with earth and press it down well. Then sweep away the rest of the ground from the slabs with a broom.
8. To make the slabs and lawn visually a single whole, sow lawn grass at the joints. In the first weeks before and after germination, make sure that the soil does not dry out.
Photo: MSG / P Hahn / M Staffler MSG / F Siemens.
Production: W Bohlsen / D van Dieken / Plantex.