DIY Mosaic Garden Path Designs
If you’ve never tried your hand, or your eye, at pebble mosaics—you’re missing out. Pebble mosaic garden path designs are relatively easy to make, and they’re certainly versatile. Depending upon your garden’s layout, a few options exist to converge, pass and stretch your pebble path’s layout. Below, we cover the process—one step at a time.
Supplies Needed for Mosaic Garden Path Designs
Before beginning, you’ll need a few supplies. Most are available at your local gardening supply store, and all are available at larger outlets like Home Depot. The supplies should be relatively inexpensive, unless you’re splurging on expensive pebbles. Be sure to only gather materials needed for either a straight path or a curved path, as mentioned midway down the list.
For this project, you’ll need the following:
-A garden hose with spray nozzle
-A hose or shovel
-60 lb. or 80 lb. bags of mortar mix
-2″ x 2″ x 6″ lumber and stakes, for straight paths
-Plastic lawn edging, for curved paths
-A whisk broom
Step One: Gathering Pebbles
First, you’ll need to gather about 125 lbs to 150 lbs of pebbles per each 3′ x 9′ pathway stretch. If you don’t want to purchase them, take a trip to your local river. Get them wet, and sort them by color. Alternatively, select different colors by bag size from your local gardening provider. You can also separate them by shape, if you want, to create deeper design options.
Step Two: Path-Prepping
Next, you should prepare your future path’s “look” by designing and pre-designating pebble areas. Do several sketches, and settle for either a straight or curved pathway. Excavate path trenches by digging about five and one-half inches into the dirt, stretching it to the path’s intended end. Then, place the boards—or plastic lawn edging, if it’s a curved path—alongside the path’s edge. This should prepare your pathway for mortar application.
Step Three: Mixing the Mortar
Then, empty your mortar bag into a wheelbarrow. Add water with the garden hose as per your mortar product’s instructions, and mix it with a hoe until its consistency is that of stiff batter. Remember to wear the dust mask, too, to avoid inhalation of dangerous materials. If the consistency is perfect, it’ll safeguard your pathway from water damage. It’ll also support each pebble’s weight, presenting them and preventing sinking over time.
Step Four: Embedding the Stones
Now, it’s time to spray the pre-set stepping stones and crushed rock with water. Mortar adheres best to wet surfaces, and spraying the soon-to-be-applied stones guarantees better application, overall. Shovel the mortar into the pathway’s length, spreading it until it reaches the “brim” of your wooden or plastic framework. Then, place any large or medium-sized stepping stones. Scoop away any bulging mortar, and then carefully spread the pebbles around the area.
Step Five: Finishing Touches
Finally, you’ll need to do some immediate maintenance. Mist the stepping stones with your garden hose, and lightly scrub off any remaining coating. The mortar will still be soft, so be gentle. Let the mortar otherwise dry around the pebbles, and wait at least a day to brush away any stray stones. Then, a week later, use the muriatic acid to scrub off any difficult, and dried, mortar globs. Apply the muriatic acid to a cloth, and wear safety goggles and gloves when scrubbing.
Once cleaned, the stones will shine. Remove the boards via a hammer, a shovel or a cold chisel, and complete your project! Your mosaic garden path should withstand quite a lot of force, but you should do routine maintenance by checking its structural integrity. If your stepping stones crack, you may need to remove them fully before installing new stones via a thin mortar application. Remember to clean the pathway regularly with a hose, too, to prevent grime buildup. Remember: Give your pathway adequate time to dry. The process may not be too labor intensive, but it does require attention to detail.