Landscaping Landscape planning Landscape design Landscape edging Pebble paving Hard landscaping Garden styles

Pebble paving

Paving is an essential part of hard landscaping in many home gardens as it can be used as pathways or as features. Depending on the type of garden paving that you choose for your garden, your paving can also be the main focal point in your garden room. Paving can also be used to spruce up a tired looking garden. In this section the aim will be on how to make your own garden paving using pebble stones.

How to make your own pebble paving

If you need to spruce up your home garden or want to break the monotony of existing paving that may begin to look tired, to give it a fresh look without breaking the bank, then this section will provide you with some inspiring ideas and the know-how to make and lay your own pebble paving slabs. The assumption that will be made here is that you already have paving slabs in your home garden. So, with no further ado, let us proceed and gather all the equipment that you may need: Pebble stones, cement, river sand or builders sand, spade, wheelbarrow, rubber mallet, spirit level, a big block of wood, a sponge, plastic float or wooden plank, brush and a bucket.

Laying the pebbles on the base
Step 3: Make the base and lay your pebble stones down
Digging out some soil
Step 1: Remove a paving slab and dig out some soil

Step 1: Prepare the area. First remove just one of your paving slabs from your existing paving. It would be prodigious if the paving was done on river sand initially. After removing the paving slab, take out some soil. Approximately 5 cm deep will be sufficient.

Step 2: Prepare the cement mixture that you will use to make the pebble paver. Use a 4:1 ratio mixture for the pebble paver. Take 4 parts of sand to one part of cement and place it in a wheelbarrow. This cement mixture does not have to be stronger than a 4:1 ratio mixture.

Thoroughly mix the cement and the sand in the wheelbarrow. Just dampen the mixture with a little water. Do not use a lot of water for you do not want a slushy, sloppy mixture. Mix the water with the cement and sand mixture until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. The mixture must just be firm enough to form the base of your pebble paver.

Step 3: Make the base for your pebble paver. Place a bit of the cement 4:1 mixture in the hole that has been opened up. Compact the cement mixture a bit using a plastic float OR if you do not have a plastic float, make use of a wooden plank as there is no need to make extra expenses.

Step 4: Make the 'pebble-bed'. Place your pebbles on the cement bed. Just position the pebbles gently on this bed. In this step you can discard unwanted pebbles and only use the ones that you deem appropriate for your pebble paver.

Step 5: Embed the pebbles in the paver. First clean off the edges with a brush once all the pebbles are in place. Then take a big block of weed and a rubber mallet and tap on the top of the pebbles. Give the pebbles a little knock – no harsh knocking required – you merely want to ensure that the pebbles are all at the same level on the cement bed. You will feel the pebbles that are slightly higher give way as you knock them into place.

Pouring the slurry
Step 7: Clean the pebble pavers with fine spray
Pouring the slurry
Step 6: Mix the slurry and pour it over the pebble bed

Step 6: Mix the slurry. Slurry is in essence cement that is mixed with water to a yoghurt-like consistency. Stir the cement thoroughly with water in a bucket until you have the desired consistency. Pour the slurry mix onto your pebble bed.

Work the slurry into all the areas on the pebble paver and cover all the pebbles with the slurry. Then, very important, clean off the excess slurry from the normal pavers since the cement will stain your normal pavers. Make use of a sponge for the cleaning purposes. Then leave the pebble with the slurry mix for approximately one hour to set.

Step 7: Clean the pebble pavers. After leaving the slurry to set for approximately 1 hour wash off the pebble paver with water using a fine spray nozzle. Do not remove too much of the cement base, rather use a sponge to dab up the excess water and to clean off sticky bits of cement to reveal the pebbles. And there you have it – your very own do it yourself pebble paver.

You can make your own designs in pebble paving. The only limit will be your imagination. Use different colors and sizes of pebbles to achieve different effects and designs. And to give your home garden that professional landscaped look, edge the pavers with cobblestones as garden edging. Hard landscaping lends itself to endless creativity when making use of pebble pavers.