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Flagstone entry in Florida

Posted by GCMastiffs z10 Florida (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 17, 05 at 21:23


I've been reading all the old posts available on flagstone paths.

We have a new stamped concrete patio, in a gray slate pattern. The contractor has decided not to honor his promised walkway to match, so we are considering putting in a rough flagstone entrance walkway ourselves (instead of sueing or worse). The house pad does make a slope, so the path will either be sloping or tiered?

We are in S. Florida. The area is in full sun. The base dirt is # 1 fill. We have no problem growing grass or other vegetation near or around the stones.

Is it better to make a curved entrance? A straight one of sand is what we have now. We are in the country, we walk from the driveway (marl) to the front entrance.

I assume we would need either two or more contained (bordered) tiers or at least sides and a bottom edge? I'm thinking that sand would simply run down the slope during heavy rains.. As it does now..

I wouldn't mind an informal look with grasses growing around the stones. Weedwacking would easily control excess growth.

Right now the space is about 8' wide and 20' long, sand.

We have 11 dogs that like to lounge around in the entrance way, so I expect to have to put the stones close together to prevent excavations.

Sand base? Gravel? Both?

Can the sides be left unlined so the stones can appear to jut into the lawn casually? A relaxed but neat look is what we want.

We have never done any stonework other than my raised bed gardens using hacienda stones.

Anyone know of good sources of flagstones in Palm Beach County?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Flagstone entry in Florida

Laying a flagstone path does sound like a lot more fun than fighting with your contractor.

Curve vs. straight: this is a design issue that I think needs more context. If your taste doesn't guide you strongly in either direction, you could run this by the landscape design forum (with a photo or a good description of the layout), but be prepared there to hear about any aspect of your house and landscape and not just the path.

Tiers vs. slope: sounds like a no-brainer to me; obviously you need to keep the base material in place. Tiers. But you contradict yourself when you say you don't mind flagstone jutting into the grass. Unless you make sort of a "landing" that is flat between the two tiers where you can use that style, you can't do both. And the two types of side don't really mix and match either; the unfinished side would look like you'd forgotten to put the edging in. At best you could do a sequence of pie-piece-shaped sections where the curved edge is contained and forms a step while the sides merge into the slope... might be a bit much though!

I'm not qualified to advise on base material. Suffice it to say we just put a concrete paver patio on just sand rather than on sand and crushed rock... (it's not gravel that's used for the base, but rock that has sharper angles and more variety in piece size).

There are lots of good books and websites showing how to lay flagstone, and I'd encourage lots of reading. They often showcase nice design ideas too.

RE: Flagstone entry in Florida

KarinL, thank you for your input!

We went stone shopping today and now I fully understand how people get addicted to stonework. Oh, what beautiful rocks they had there! They had examples of all kinds of walkways, base materials, finishing materials, edging, and free advice. The job sounds doable, even for two novices. I will pick up some books on the subject and do more research, but I think we are set on the stone type (Blue Tumbled Flagstones). According to the gentleman I spoke to, the slight slope of the housepad would not be a problem at all. He recommended concrete screenings as a base, with coarse sand to finish. The paths there were all enclosed with brick/paver edging that was almost invisible. I won't have the stones jut into the lawn.

I'm really looking forward to getting this done-it should look great. Off to the library to learn more.....


RE: Flagstone entry in Florida

Sounds like a great stoneyard. Have fun, and watch your back :-)!

RE: Flagstone entry in Florida

GC, you can use a sand layer for the base and then set the stones in a good 1.5 inches of good firm soil. especially if you want plants growing in between the stones. If the sun isnt too intense you can also use moss in between the stones as well. Take some milk and good handfull of existing moss from a nearby palm and mush it all together, then dribble it between the cracks of the stone. keep it damp for a week or so and you will have really nice moss edged flagstones. Just be sure to use a good coarse stone for the walkway so you dont slip.

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