Problem....back yard never looks good


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I laid these stepping stones making a pathway from the laundry door to the garage and clothes line and driveway quite a few years ago. First they were too high so i dug them in deeper, they sunk so i lifted them, putting a layer of small stones underneath and they have sunk again. Maybe if i had left them the first time they'd have been okay. What i am trying now, after it being suggested to me, is rather than lift them I'm attempting to dig down around them. However it is just a bit exhausting....to say the least. I have put a row of pavers making a slight step up as the level outside the laundry door is low and rubbish does accumulate there. Grass never grows evenlly and it is a pain to mow that area so i am open to suggestions. So far suggestions are mulch, gravel, artificial grass.
 

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I just checked out a post titled Pathway Help Needed by Squib in November 18. Good suggestions for me to think about. How did you go Squib?
 
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There's no easy fix for this.

It looks like the paving nearest the camera has been well laid.
It's difficult to match these unless you go about it the right way.
If it's a permanent addition, it would be best to remove these flags and level the earth, putting hardcore down and stamping it in to firm it up. You then need a length of timber that will span at least three flags. Lay the first of the extra ones on a bed of slightly damp fine concrete mix and tamp it down. Put your length of timber across two existing flags and the first of the new ones and check that all three are level with a spirit level. The originals may have a slight "fall" to take the water away from any building behind the camera, you should follow the gradient (which won't be a lot) with the additional flags. Carry on withe the rest of the flags, again checking with the wood and the level in both directions.
It would be easier to make a "dog leg" path than try to make rectangular ones in a diagonal look attractive.

As an alternative you could try "stepping stones" in gravel on a membrane.

Achieving something like my stepping stones in the lawn, they are large pieces of York stone creating a path from the edge of our tea-house to the pagoda. You can see a few of them in this photo.

49191


Again it's hard to see but if there's a bit of a drop to the level of the rest of the garden from the paved area, it'll take a lot of gravel. You might be better off dropping the new ones down a bit to form a step
 

Gail_68

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Hi @DeborahJane just been showing hubby your post as he's an ex-builder and lay all our slabs.
He said you need sharp sand and gravel which you can buy mixed put with cement underneath your slabs and then hitting flat...slabs layed back down and to make them more sturdy pea gravel around the edging and for the ground otherwise...what you've already mentioned mulch, gravel, artificial grass

Here's our slabs he did.
 

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One good thing about the stones is that they retain moisture for extended periods of time. Here at least that allows us to grow dwarf mondo grass and mosses in between the stones. The roots of the grasses certainly act as soil stabilizers and the lily grasses grow well in the shade. The monkey grasses like cool moist feet in summer.
 
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Thank you guys for your help. As I am the muscle I actually used a crow bar, lifted the pavers up and built them up with short wooden garden stakes before dropping them back down and am putting mulch around them. I'm also working on laying a large brick circle around my circular herb garden. You can just make out in the 2nd photo. Would like to put stones inside that circle but I'll probably use mulch as i have lots, saves money and quicker.
49401
49402
 

Gail_68

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Thank you guys for your help. As I am the muscle I actually used a crow bar, lifted the pavers up and built them up with short wooden garden stakes before dropping them back down and am putting mulch around them. I'm also working on laying a large brick circle around my circular herb garden. You can just make out in the 2nd photo. Would like to put stones inside that circle but I'll probably use mulch as i have lots, saves money and quicker.View attachment 49401View attachment 49402
DeborahJane it does look a lot better I bet your pleased yourself (y)
 
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Well at least it's arranged to how it suits you better but how you lift those slabs Christ knows o_O...I would pull my back just trying :D
Yeah, I did have a bit of a twitch in my back but all good now. I could ask for help but then I'd have to wait.....and wait...and I'm too impatient to do that:(. The crow bar was good for digging them up I must say, worked well. My other favourite tool is my mattock. You can dig big holes very quickly with a mattock(y)
 

Gail_68

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I'm too impatient
I'm the same in that regard...so I soon call on my hubby ;)….like you say you'd have to wait but at the same time be careful when doing anything that strenuous :)
 
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Just a thought!!!:sneaky:o_O:rolleyes:. Overkill??? Maybe!
This is a circular driveway from an old home in Clunes, an old gold mining town in western Victoria where i actually lived for a while as a child. It is now a B&B with its original name of Hillcest because.... you guessed it, it's on the crest of a hill. The flower filled segments were lawn. Mowing it was a job for my brothers, now in their 70s, who remember having to lift up the mower over the tiled edging. So the new owners have maintained a lot of original stuff.
 

G.W

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I laid these stepping stones making a pathway from the laundry door to the garage and clothes line and driveway quite a few years ago. First they were too high so i dug them in deeper, they sunk so i lifted them, putting a layer of small stones underneath and they have sunk again. Maybe if i had left them the first time they'd have been okay. What i am trying now, after it being suggested to me, is rather than lift them I'm attempting to dig down around them. However it is just a bit exhausting....to say the least. I have put a row of pavers making a slight step up as the level outside the laundry door is low and rubbish does accumulate there. Grass never grows evenlly and it is a pain to mow that area so i am open to suggestions. So far suggestions are mulch, gravel, artificial grass.
Aaaaagh, nature and landscaping! True that stones and levels don't tend to stay the same. I live in North Carolina at the coast and we did a huge 20X10 patio. My neighbor is a brick mason and gave us great tips for doing this! Ready here goes.......... something called crush and run gravel....(it has small bits of crushed gravel that act like cement), leveled it, then tamp it down with a rented tamper,the 1-2 inches of sand and set the bricks or in your case pavers then filled in grooves with a special mix. But even after that roots from bamboo snuck under and they became unloved. Sooooooooo, you can do all that and still have nature to mess it up a bit. But we did another small area and just set it in sand and enjoy the irregularities of it. I try to just do some fudge factoring to make the difference appealing and still enjoy all our hard work. I feel your frustration but it still can be beautiful and something for you to be proud of. Wish I had a picture of that patio but it is in the archives on an old computer. I wish you success!
 
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