Lay Your Own Path
Given enough patience and back strength, anyone can install a basic garden path, says landscape designer Michael Donnellan of Summerhill Landscapes in Sag Harbor, N.Y.
See our article "Set In Stone" about different types of gravel and its growing popularity.
Thank you to Michael Donnellan of Summerhill Landscapes in Sag Harbor, N.Y., for his help in developing these instructions
 Mark out the path's outer boundaries using string or a garden hose, taking time to find the most pleasing curves and angles. Walking paths should be 24 to 36 inches wide, and preferably on level ground. Excavate soil to eight inches below the final surface.
For gravel alternatives, see this comprehensive information about using stamped concrete.
 Spread and level four to six inches of crushed concrete aggregate base (available from home improvement centers). Compact the leveled base using a drum roller or hand tamper. Hose it down once or twice to help it compact.
 To inhibit weed growth, lay a double layer of landscape fabric over the compacted base, leaving excess fabric to go under the path's edging (which can be made of brick, stone, steel, or wood). Lay in edging, allowing its top to sit no more than two inches above the finished surface.
 Spread two to four inches of gravel over the base, using the back of a metal rake to help distribute the material.