The Summer 2010 issue of Garden Making features an article on building paths and walkways, with advice from landscape architect Ken Nentwig of Ontario on how to select materials and design paths.
If you decide to install a path or walkway yourself, here are some of the tools you should have on hand, according to Nentwig:
- Carpenter’s spirit level: to ensure gentle slopes for good drainage.
- Tape measure: to keep width consistent and to measure excavation levels.
- Square: necessary only for small projects. For long paths and walkways and projects with square corners or patterns, it’s better to calculate a 90° angle using the 3-4-5 right angle rule. (To do this, measure three feet along one edge and four feet along the other. A 90° angle occurs when the third side of the triangle, which connects these two lines, measures five feet. Any multiple of these numbers works, too, as well as metric conversions.)
- Wheelbarrow: to hold and transport excavated materials.
- Round-mouth shovel: to dig and load materials such as sand and gravel, for example.
- Square-mouth shovel: to edge and shape flat bottoms in excavations.
- Good garden rake: to level base materials such as gravel and sand.
- Gloves: to prevent blisters and protect hands from rough materials.
- Plan of attack: for laying out the walkway and calculating materials requirements.
- Supplier instructions: for proper materials’