Help with stone / flagstone pathway ideas

kenfusedJanuary 15, 2012


our pathway thru the yard from previous owner going up and around the yard is dirt and scattered, (lightly covered now....) with small 1-3 inch pebble/cobble.

we are thinking about something more permanent and nice looking with perhaps flagstone surrounded by pebbles or something.

Any ideas on what colors or kinds of stone for our yard? we did not want to do pavers or anything involving concrete/mortar as we did not want it to be so "hard" but a more "organic" "soft" look to it.


here are links to photos

any photos would be great!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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I would top dress this with a crushed aggregate, but scrap the idea about flagstone incorporated within. I think it's more trouble than worth and un-needed. Something like "decomposed granite" will give you a nice grey. If you want something with contrasting color, consider crushed brick. Visit a local landscape supply or two and see what they have to choose from. Keep in mind that you want a product that contains a mixture of sizes from as big as 3/'8" (or thereabouts) down to sand and dust. If it's all the same size and "clean" (like big aquarium gravel) it will swish around some as you walk on it and not be that good to walk on. You need something that packs down tight. Before installing, blow the organic matter out of the walk.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 1:53AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

You mentioned that you might be entertaining the thought of flagstone surrounded by pebbles.
If that's your desired direction then you might be served well by looking at the color of your house, the color of any existing tile or concrete outside and the color of any existing landscape rock so that you choose a flagstone that unites all of these units together.

We are generally very lucky here in California that we have incredibly stocked landscape yards offering flagstone in a rainbow of colors and textures.

From the midwest comes the mellow buff tones :
From Hillside development

From New England come the gray tones of Bluestone surrounded by our local California colored decomposed granite
From Beach House

Considered the least expensive $ flagstone in our area, the Arizona Flagstone have a color range from soft butter yellow , light brown, rose and deep rosey brown. It is extremeley easy to work with . It cuts like butter with a diamond saw and is splits dependably.
From portfolioMay08.jpg From California Gardening

Another possible consideration is 'urbanite', which is actually just broken up concrete pieces.
From California Gardening

Which ever medium you choose, a properly installed subbase is paramount.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Thanks for all the pictures!
I was going to avoid decomposed granite, b/c years ago it was DG and it eventually washed away, and the old owner filled it with the cobblestone rocks instead. Great ideas here!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:57PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

years ago it was DG and it eventually washed away

Ah. I'd noticed the signs of water erosion to the right of the path. Add to that DG that washed away ... and the obvious slope in your yard, and you might want to address the drainage and slope issue before deciding on path materials.

Have you lived in the house long enough to know what happens in a heavy rain? Can you tell where the DG ended up when it washed out of the path?

By the way, your initial "links to photos" url takes us to the same photo as in your "One photo" link. Were there supposed to be more photos, or perhaps a link to an album?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 1:54AM
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Where are the cobblestone rocks?

If DG washed away, what are the circumstances? (as any aggregate it's size would react same.)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 8:55AM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

DD's photos are gorgeous, as always.

I would add that we put in two DIY, very short stretches of AZ flagstone (from American Soil/Richmond) with pebbles.

We would NEVER do this again. On the sloped stretch, the pebbles slowly slide downwards. It's just gravity and drainage (well, when we get any rain, LOL), but it's annoying even if it only needs a broom to shove the pebbles back 'upstream' once or twice a year.

With both the sloped and flat stretches, weeding is absolutely THE major pain. Especially in the last month - the early rain/long stretch of warm middays made the flat area look like a seedling bed! Worst it's been since we first put it in back in 2003. The weeds adore the great drainage with the extra warmth of the pebbles and stones.

I plan to have my gardener, who does my 'heavy work', yank it out and permanently set the stones in aggregate. I have enough weeding to do with 15 separate garden beds on our little Oakland plot, LOL. Having to weed pathways too has gotten very old, very fast.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 11:08AM
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What aggregate would you guys recommend, if not pebbles?
There is no way to "fix" water drainage issues as the entire yard is sloped, rain runs off the pathway and onto the patio (into patio drains) or down the other side of the yard down a dry creekbed out to the street.

here is one more photo

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 11:24AM
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