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Any ideas for a sloping garden path please?

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I have a garden on a slope and have had it landscaped in stages over a number of years (to make it affordable). Two years ago I had the middle 'terrace' done and was persuaded by the gardener that a pebble path would be a good solution to the sloping pathway.

There's a photo attached. As you can see I'm quite cheesed off with this path as I've let the weeds grow in it! The problem is that it is way too slippery (I've fallen over or lost my footing a number of times) and the pebbles do way too much travelling. The gardener returned and put some wooden batons in the ground and these have certainly improved the situation but not enough for me to be happy with it. I'm looking for a new solution.

I can't afford to have the sloping path stepped, so am looking for some other way to do this. The path is curved as well as on a slope - the bed in the photo is a gentIe semi-circle which I love and want to keep. The garden 'style' (if there is one) is a bit cottage garden if anything. I live on the south coast and the soil here is chalk, chalk, chalk!!

I would love a brick path but this might also be quite expensive (will be getting some quotes soon) and I'm not sure how slippy a brick path might be. Has anyone any experience of brick paths on a slope please?

The only other solution I can think of is to set stepping stones into the slope in some way and then grass round them.

Dear gardeners, does anyone have any ideas about a good way to deal with this sloping and curving path that would look good in an informal garden, not be too expensive, and will be safe to walk down on a rainy day!!




Hi - Welcome to GOY

Your garden looks really lovely and the slope makes it much more interesting than a flat piece of land

Wouldn't know about laying a brick path sorry. You could put down some bark as this shouldn't be slippery and and wouldn't be too expensive - depending on how long your path is of course! Hopefully you will get some other ideas. Good luck!

23 May, 2009


Hi Sunshinesadly and welcome to GoY...
Now you've got the path stepped with battens why not just weed and add some smaller grit and sand to help bind the pebbles together. Bricks are likely to get slippery if not kept clean and so can flagstones - additionally cutting the grass on a slope around the flagstones could be a challenge. Bark could work but would need a membrane under it to stop the weeds growing through, or regular weeding, also the bark will decompose and need topping up on a regular basis. There is no ideal solution when you have a tight budget... We're trying to work out a solution to a path that comes around the back of the house and currently is made of gravel, it is serviceable but not pretty - paving slabs are the obvious solution but the ones I would like seem to be around £10 each!

23 May, 2009


Why don't you just set slabs in the pebbles - clear a space for each one, set it on sand, firmly (or if you really want to do it properly, sand/cement mix) then shove the pebbles up to the edges. Put them just far enough apart for normal walking distance, use riven slabs, less likely to be slippy, though when it's wet, even these will be a bit dodgy, but not as bad as anything wooden. Plain smooth slabs will be more slippery. Even a brick paviour path will be slippy when wet on a slope, but okay when dry, same as riven paving slabs. Garden looks really attractive, but I'm not too keen on the wood inserts in the path .... Its hard to tell, but that slope looks steep enough for shallow steps, which will be expensive to do.

23 May, 2009


Could you replace the wooden battens with something more solid like stone or brick. Some decorative bricks have a rough, stone effect edge that should not get slippery.

23 May, 2009


Hello Sunshine s' well you have had a few suggestions but I am going to throw in another
You have the little pebbles, you now also have the batton front to the steps which would act as shuttering. Why not get a bag of cement, 2 bags of builders sand and 2 bags of dust, which you should get under £10 if I am not out of date!!
Mix up cement 4 parts gravel & Sand to-1 part cement Dig the pebbles out of each step, do a step at a time,into a bucket and wash it clean to get any dirt or earth out of them. Fill the dug out step to half full or 2/3 inches deep with cement and put the clean dry pebbles into it to fill the step and pat it in level and well so that the pebbles will set in the cement and they wont roll under your feet. but will save on cement. That is about the cheepest way I can see, the experts may think this no good, but make sure the ground is firm before you put the cement in. I don't think the cement is going to crack with subsidence with your weight in such small areas!!! You wont be driving a lorry down your path!! Dont mix all your cement in one go as you will have to use it up all at once, just do a few steps at a time. but don't let the cement go stale use it up as soon as you can. Given the suggestion now put it to someone who understands the job.

23 May, 2009


Thanks for these suggestions! But even more, thank you for your enthusiasm!

I can spend a bit of money on the sloping path - no need to keep the budget to a tenner Telme8!!

Bulbaholic - yes you are right, the batons can go completely. It would be nice to replace them with something that looks a lot nicer. I think I'm working towards something that might have a bit of brick in it, just to give me the effect.

I'm also considering something similar to Mims2's suggestion. Setting some stepping stones or something similar with a bit of grip into the ground and then filling in the gaps with something. Possibly turf. I'm really fed up of those pebbles now!

23 May, 2009

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