Create a Checkerboard Garden

This simple design of paving stones and plants can be used to create a dramatic courtyard or a fun space for children. Plant it up with turfgrass, chamomile or low-growing herbs, such as thyme.

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Checkerboard Design for GardenEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: spring
At Its Best: all year round
Time to Complete: 1 day

Materials Needed:

  • turf or low-growing plants
  • rake
  • wooden boards
  • tape measure
  • string and sticks
  • sand and mortar mix
  • mallet
  • level
  • square paving stones

Compact the Soil

Clear the area of stones, weeds and grass, and rake it to create a flat surface. Lay down a wooden board and walk across it, moving it along systematically to level the whole area.

Level Soil With BoardEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Mark Out the Squares

Measure the paving stones, and using string and some sticks, mark out the area into squares of equal size. Cover squares that will be used for paving stones with a 2-inch layer of sand.

Measure and Create a Grid AreaEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Level the Sand

Using the back of a rake, tamp down the sand to compact and level it. Don't worry if some sand spills out into the surrounding squares; any surplus can be mixed with the soil for the plants or turf.

Tamp Down Sand with RakeEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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