Walkways and Patios built with

loose surface materials

The landscaping of pictures 3 to 8 was installed in cooperation with 'Sahin Stonework', all other work by Green Art.



Pea stone is a rounded aggregate, often in ornamental colors such as white or blends of tan and brown. It can be used as a surface material for a walkway, patio or driveway. Although more expensive than ordinary crushed stone, it is still a low-cost material. Since it is not solid, like brick or flagstone, a pea stone surface will eventually need some maintenance, such as weeding and an occasional raking. It is not suitable to areas where snow needs to be plowed or shoveled.

Pea stone surfaces need some kind of edging in order to maintain a separation to abutting surfaces. A granite cobblestone edging retains the loose pea stone, keeps mulch and soil out and gives the walkway a great definition.

Pea stone is not a good material for entrance walkways, since it happens easily that small pebbles are wedged in under a shoe and than tracked into a building, where they will ruin a wood floor in a short time.


Another walkway material is bark mulch. If the path leads through a garden one does not need to install an edging, since the garden bed is covered with the same material. Weeds are usually less of a problem than with pea stone, as long as the mulch layer is thick enough. It should not exceed 1 inch in the bed since many plants are sensitive to heavy layers of mulch, but it can be much thicker on a path.

Obviously, a mulch path is best installed in a garden or woodland. Close to the house, it will track mulch particles into the home.


An example for a pea stone surface:






All borders of the pea stone surface are edged with walls or curbstone.


The sitting area is separated from the parking by small beds that are planted with Fritsch Spirea (Spirea fritschiana) which will form 3-ft.-mounds of lush foliage.


Tables have been placed in the sitting area for use by the customers of this café and bakery. The top of the sitting-wall is planted with culinary herbs and lavender.


The same area during construction. The surface has been cleaned and is ready for excavation of the patio space.


The patio space is prepared with a layer of 3/4 crushed stone in order to insure perfect drainage and avoid a wet surface. After compaction a layer of stone dust is installed on which the pea stone is spread out.


Another project with pea stone and granite edgings:


This patio space on the south side of a home is edged with a mix of blocky  wall stone and cobblestone.


Once the surrounding gardens and center island have grown in the edging will be softened and the tan colored pea stone will contrast with the green of the garden.


To minimize tracking of pea stone into the house slabs of bluestone have been placed in the entrance area.

Larger size pea stone, or round stone, can also be used for patios and walkways. It is not as comfortable to walk on, but it has the advantage that it does not track into the house.

There are two important traditional uses for pea stone in landscaping:




First, it is used in oriental gardens, where it is often raked to achieve a texture that is reminiscent of waves in the ocean.



The second important use is in formal herb gardens and rose gardens. Gardens of renaissance palaces often had extensive systems of walkways and paths that were covered with pea stone.


To facilitate maintenance, it is possible to install landscape fabric under a pea stone walkway, like shown in the following photos. This is especially beneficial if the area is small and surrounded by gardens from where weeds could grow into the walkway.


Installation of a very basic pea stone walk with no base of crushed stone: The soil is cleaned and leveled. Liner is placed on the soil in the shape of the desired pea stone area.




The liner is covered with stone dust. The edges of the liner are pulled upward by one or two inches in order to form a barrier between stone dust and soil. Screened loam is filled in from the back to support the liner and to adopt the liner edge to the grade of the surrounding garden beds.. Rocks can be used as edgings or ornaments.

Mulch as a surface material:



In this location, building restrictions did not allow for stone work, and a path covered with bark mulch was installed instead.

A liner can also be installed, in the same way as described above, to minimize weed growth on mulched areas.



Garden beds and mulch walkway form one unit. Mulch is also suitable for woodland paths and is a nice material to walk on.



Painting with


Artistic Masonry Directions  


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