Making an Herb Path Through a Wildflower Meadow

Many herbs withstand the odd footstep and thrive in the warmth reflected from pavers. Plant creeping thymes for the best effect; they will soon blur the sharp edges of the paving.
Creeping Thyme and Sidewalk Landscape

Creeping Thyme and Sidewalk Landscape

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Maximize your growing space by planting herbs in unlikely places, such as between patio slabs, where they can thrive.

From: DK Books - Herbs

Tip for Success

Place gravel around the base of the thymes. Keep this topped up, especially after pruning or trimming, when some gravel always ends up in the soil with the offcuts.

Top Up With Pea Sized Gravel Around Base of Thyme

Top Up With Pea Sized Gravel Around Base of Thyme

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 1

After thoroughly digging the ground and incorporating plenty of coarse sand, rake the soil level and remove any roots or large stones. Use long draws of the rake and follow the rough contours of the ground.

Level Ground of Rocks and Roots with Rake

Level Ground of Rocks and Roots with Rake

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 2

Firm the ground by repeatedly treading in both directions or use a well-weighted piece of timber. Scrape the timber over the soil to level out any extreme undulations. Do this from side to side and end to end.

Use Timber to Firm Soil

Use Timber to Firm Soil

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 3

Measure out enough heavy permeable landscape fabric to cover the length of the path with a 6-inch overlap at the sides and ends. Overlap any joints by 6 inches and seal together using cloth-backed adhesive tape.

Cover a Landscape Path

Cover a Landscape Path

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 4

Permeable landscape fabric is available in packs from 3 feet wide to rolls over 18 feet wide so, alternatively, you can lay out the fabric and cut it to size. Use sharp scissors to avoid loose fabric strands.

Roll Out Fabric and Cut to Size

Roll Out Fabric and Cut to Size

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 5

Using a spade, push the edge of the fabric into the soil. Some practice might be needed to do this single-handedly and it can help to have two people doing this simultaneously—one on each side of the path.

Use Spade to Push Edge of Fabric into Soil

Use Spade to Push Edge of Fabric into Soil

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 6

Coarse gravel of 1/2 to 3/4 inch size is ideal. Start pouring at one end and work your way up the path in one direction. Don’t be tempted to do random sections as this will result in rucks in the fabric that could protrude later.

Laying a Coarse Gravel Pathway

Laying a Coarse Gravel Pathway

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 7

Rake the gravel level, but be careful that the prongs do not catch on the fabric below. Aim for a uniform depth of 1-1/4 to 2 inches, but don’t worry if this is unattainable as more can easily be added (or removed) later.

Rake Gravel Over Landscape Fabric

Rake Gravel Over Landscape Fabric

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 8

Create a shallow indentation by lightly dragging a paver across the gravel, then lay the paver into the hollow created. Using gloves, rotate the paver until it is aligned with its neighbors and fill in with gravel if needed.

Pavers in Gravel Pathway

Pavers in Gravel Pathway

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 9

Set out your herbs in their final planting positions and then scrape the gravel away from the fabric surface. Cut an "X" in the fabric, so the edges can then be tucked back or re-positioned to cover part of the rootball.

Make Space for Herb

Make Space for Herb

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 10

Dig a hole just deep enough to leave the top of the rootball level with the gravel and pavers. Carefully tease out any congested roots, plant, firm gently, and finish off with a final layer of gravel. Water regularly.

Planting Between Pavers

Planting Between Pavers

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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