Add a Splash Of Colour to Your Plot With a Bright Block Paving Path
This in the garden. So forget y follow this blue brick path to enlightenment! Paths are essential in most gardens but they don’t have to be dull. Use them to add dynamic, flowing links between different areas of the garden, and make them part of the essential journey throughout the garden, helping to lead the eye to other secluded, hidden or even secret areas. Make your path a feature in itself, and it will forever entice you to explore your garden, however small your plot. While straight paths will add rigidity and formality, gentle curves create a sense of relaxation.
But don’t go over the top with your curves; a squiggly snake-like path not only looks messy and over-busy – it’ll take you ages to walk anywhere! Most bricks that are suitable for paths come in muted, natural tones, but it’s easy to transform them using a specialist paint, adding a splash of vivid colour. And the sky’s the limit to how much extra spectacle this will introduce to the garden’s overall rainbow of tones. Choose a colour that matches and sets off the surrounding planting for a tranquil look and feel, or go for a wildly contrasting palette to enliven otherwise subdued tones. We’ve gone for blue, as it’s the colour of the moment this summer, and jumped on the outdoors trend for all things ombré for good measure!
Day 1 PAINT THE PAVERS
Before you start, measure the area first to work out how much block paving you need (most standard pavers measure 20 x 10cm).
YOU WILL NEED
Driveway Block Paving, £18/m2 diy.com Acrylic Primer Undercoat, £13.99/2.5L screwﬁx.com Paint roller or paintbrush and tray Pegs and string Rubber mallet Spirit level Spade Garage Floor Paint, £27/5L taindustrialpaints.co.uk
WHAT TO DO 1
Give all the paving blocks a coat of undercoat to ensure the paint takes. Use a paint roller or paintbrush – you don’t need to treat the bottom of the pavers. While you wait for the primer to dry, mark out where the path will go using pegs and string, hammering the pegs into the ground with a rubber mallet. Make sure the sides are parallel. Dig out the route of the path, making sure it’s level both along its length and width, tamping down the soil so it’s firm. To get the path flush with the ground, dig deep enough to allow for a 10cm layer of sand, a 2cm layer of mortar, and the paver (a standard paver is 5cm deep). The primer will be dry by now, so apply one or two coats of floor paint to the top and sides of the pavers, and leave to dry. To get the ombré look, just mix white paint into the coloured paint.
Day 2 LAY THE PATH
Pavers are quick and easy to lay, so this is the fun bit!
YOU WILL NEED B&Q
Sharp Sand Bulk Bag, £40 diy.com (enough to cover approximately 4.8m2 at 10cm deep) Rake Blue Circle General Purpose Cement, £4.02/25kg diy.com Spade Rubber mallet Spirit level Bolster chisel and lump hammer.
WHAT TO DO 1
Place a 10cm-deep layer of sand on top of the soil in your trench. Level it out and firm and consolidate with the back of a rake. Mix one part cement to four parts sand and a little water to make your mortar. Keep the mix fairly dry; check the consistency is right by making a depression in the mix with a spade – it’s correct if this is easy to do and the mortar holds its shape. Add a 4cm-deep layer of mortar over a section of the sand (it’s easier to add mortar and pavers together in sections). 4 Starting along one edge, position the pavers onto the mortar. Using the rubber mallet, gently tap the pavers down into the mortar – aim to sink them 2cm into the 4cm- layer of mortar. Lay the spirit level on them as you tap to ensure they’re level. 5 The path will look better if the joints between the pavers in each row are staggered, like a brick wall. To get this effect, you’ll need to use half or square pavers at the ends of every other row. You can either buy square pavers or cut oblong pavers with a bolster chisel and lump hammer. 6 Leave the mortar to set for at least 24 hours before you use your path.