How to Make a Decorative Garden Path
From: DK Books - Ready Set Grow
Dance along your very own winding path through your garden. Make these eye-catching steppingstones by molding concrete into pretty leafy shapes. You'll need big leaves for this project, like the ones on rhubarb, zucchini and sunflower plants.
- disposable plastic gloves
- large plant leaves
- powdered cement mix
- large plastic container
- putty knife
1. Mix the Cement
Mix up the cement into a thick paste in a large plastic container. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Remember to wear an apron and disposable plastic gloves.
2. Position the Leaf
For each stone, lay one leaf flat on a large piece of cardboard. The leaf's veiny reverse side should be facing up.
3. Spread Cement on the Leaf
With a putty knife, spread the cement all over the leaf. This layer should be about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick at the edges and at least 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick at the center.
4. Let the Concrete Dry a Little
Smooth around the edges and over the surface with your putty knife. Then, leave your concrete leaf for about two hours, until it's just dry enough to hold its shape.
5. Remove the Leaf
Gently turn it over and peel away the leaf. This will be easier if the concrete is still a bit wet. Now leave the "stone" to dry completely for a day or two.
6. Allow the Stones to Dry
Wait for stones to dry. Once they are, decide on their position by arranging them on the grass to make sure their spacing suits your stride.
7. Dig a Spot for the Stone
Use a trowel to mark around each shape. Remove the first stone and dig out the grass and soil to the depth of the stone plus an extra 1 in (2.5 cm).
8. Position the Stone and Level It
Place a 1-inch (2.5 cm) layer of sand into each hole. Make sure it's smooth before placing the stone on top. Repeat for all your stones, checking that they're even and filling gaps around the edge with soil. To level the stones, add or remove sand underneath.
9. Allow the Stones to Settle
Give the stones some time. Allow them to settle for a few days before walking on them.