The past weekend I set out to complete small project with a little help from my gardening assistant. The goal was to put together a small pathway made from cheap concrete stepping stones that would lead up to the front porch area of my garden shed. Prior to this the area was weedy. So weedy that regular mowings were necessary to be able to walk through the area. It was inconvenient to say the least and just looked bad.
I began the project the other day by clearing the area of any and all weeds. It was mostly crabgrass which despite its annoyingly aggressive spreading nature is very easy to pull up. Once the area was cleared it was leveled. A slight slope away from the shed was left so that any accumulating water would flow away from the building.
Then newspaper was laid underneath as a weed barrier and the 12"x12" concrete paving stones were placed in a simple grid pattern. I tried several other configurations that were more complicated but in the end I decided that simple was the best. (It would have been better to map it all out beforehand because moving stones around repeatedly just really isn't all that fun!) The next step was planting the spaces with a good ground cover that could handle a little foot traffic when needed. The groundcover I selected was dwarf liriope. Liriope really is a great plant when used properly! The stepping stones are spaced somewhere around 2 inches apart which leaves just enough space to plant small divided sprigs of liriope. My daughter and I planted one plant on each corner and one at the center point of each side of the stepping stones. The lriope will spread and fill in the gaps fairly quickly. This only took 4 small pots of liriope to complete, the other 6 will be used to fill in some of the larger spaces toward the edges. Those first four pots were divided into about 40 smaller plants! Not a bad bargain for $2 a pot. Eventually the groundcover will block out any weeds that may be tempted to grow here.
All told this little project cost $14 for the stepping stones and $8 for the plants for a grand total of $22. Not bad at all for this cheap gardener!
Labels: garden shed, stepping stones