Setting Inlaid Stepping Stones

Recently I was given some natural stone to add to my landscape by a local gardener.  Some of the stone was large and flat while other stones were rough edged and angular. Today I'll show you how I used the large flat stones in three areas of my yard. First I'll tell you how I set the stones. I didn't use any fancy equipment other than a shovel. Often when people set stones and concrete they lay down sand or crushed gravel underneath. I didn't since I wanted a very natural, like-it-had-always-been-there look.

  1. I laid the stones down where I wanted them and made sure they were positioned right. 
  2. I used my shovel and edged around the stone fitting the shape of the stone as tightly as I could.
  3. I removed the sod and transferred pieces to other areas of the yard that have dips in them. (Speaking of dips, have you ever wondered about the signs that say "Dip in Road"? Why doesn't he ever move? ;))
  4. Then I tested the stone fitting to make sure I had removed enough soil from underneath and either added or subtracted soil to make it fit better. 
  5. Last, I set the stone and back filled around the edges.
Ideally the grass will grow around the stones and they will appear to have always been there.

The first area is by the arbor. A large threshold type stone was just what the area needed.

The large stones on the sides are set at 5 feet apart which makes the threshold stone about 24-28 inches long.

A close-up. 

The second area is next to our front sidewalk garden to create an entry point into the yard. the entry was already there but it was grass only. I removed the sod, put the stones in, and mulched around them.

The third and final area to show you is the beginning of a natural stepping stone pathway between the birdbath garden and the deck garden. As I gather more stones I'll add to the pathway.

The pathway splits after the stones where a viburnum anchors a small planting bed. The left side goes back to the front yard via the side garden and the arbor. The right path goes back to the backyard lawn.

That grill really stands out, I'll have to plant something next to it to disguise it!

How do you use stone in your garden?