How to Install a Gravel Garden Path

If you are planning a formal garden with dense plantings, a garden path is necessary to pass through it.  Here is how we installed ours.


  • Small Colored Flags
  • Flat-Edged Shovel
  • Bow Rake
  • Landscaping Fabric
  • Metal C-pins
  • Plastic Landscape Edging
  • Box Cutter with a New Blade
  • Plastic Spikes
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Blowtorch (Optional)
  • Pea Pebble or Gravel
  • Tamper
  • Stepping Stones (Optional)


  1. First, draw a scale diagram of your garden on graph paper to plan where you will place the path and how wide it will need to be. Our path is about 2’6” wide to allow easy passage between the roses planted on either side.image
  2. Contact Digger’s Hotline (or your local equivalent) to mark down where your gas, electric, and water lines are before you begin digging to prevent damage to your home or yourself.
  3. Once you have decided the location of the path, mark the outline in the ground by placing the small colored flags at 1’ intervals.image
  4. Use the flat-edged shovel to cut into the ground between the flags, about 4” deep. To remove dirt, cut the ground into small 6”x6” squares within the path and pry them out from the bottom.  I would not make the squares bigger than this, especially if you have heavy clay soil.
  5. Once the path is completely dug out, use a bow rake to level the dirt and tamp down until solid.IMG_3582
  6. Roll the landscaping fabric onto the bare earth, with the fabric riding a few inches up both sides. If your path is curved, you will need to cut the fabric and lay it out in flat sections. Secure fabric in place using C-pins.  For any places where two pieces of fabric meet there should be a 2”-3” overlap.image
  7. The day before adding the plastic landscape edging, leave it out in the sun per the box’s instructions.  This will help it conform to your design.
  8. Unroll the plastic landscaping edging along the border of your path and cut to size with a boxcutter (be sure to use a new blade for your boxcutter, since an old blade might not be sharp enough to cut through). Edging should cover the risen edges of the landscaping fabric along the sides of the path.  Hammer plastic spikes through the base of the edging to secure.imageimageimageimage
  9. If your design includes sharp curves, use a blowtorch to soften the edging so that it conforms to the path, and hammer in place with plastic spikes on either side.
  10. Fill the inside of the path with pea pebble or gravel and tamp down until firm. If desired, press stepping stones into the gravel.IMG_3589
  11. If there are any gaps between the outside of the path and the edging, fill it in with dirt. In time, plants will grow over the edges and cover up any imperfections.IMG_3693

Happy Gardening!

Posted July 16th, 2017 by Admin
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One Response to “How to Install a Gravel Garden Path”

Kitty On July 26th, 2017

That looks great!

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