A beautiful garden brings together softscape and hardscape elements, contrasting feathery plants and flowers against solid stone, concrete, and gravel. One hardscape feature that allows you to get creative is a stepping stone path. You just need to include the right pavers to create the trail with your landscape supplies. To help you with this project, consider the following pointers.

Stepping Stone Shapes

You'll need to pick a shape for your stepping stones. You can choose between square, rectangle, or else irregular-contoured pavers that evoke a rustic feel, especially when set in a staggered line. Alternatively, you can form a straight path or create a whimsical winding trail that meanders through the garden, leading to a feature such as a fountain, decorative sundial, or metal sculpture. Across a vast garden, you could even set up an intersection of paths for fun. Using perfect circular stepping stones will add to the playful effect.

Paver Materials

A pleasant phase of planning a stepping stone trail involves choosing the materials. One option is natural stone pavers like travertine, slate, or bluestone. Decide what colours you want to scatter around the garden. Diverse rock species include pinks, blues, purples, and cream. An alternate paver element is concrete, which can be coloured and textured in countless ways to mimic natural rock pieces, timber planks, and other elements. Of course, you can also go with grey concrete that imbues a garden with an earthy feel once it weathers and merges with the landscape.

Background Elements

The stepping stones can be laid on different background materials. For example, you could spread them across the lawn. You would first need to place the pavers in position, then cut a hole in the grass by tracing around the stone. You can then set the paver in the sunken area. Creating a stepping stone path within bark mulch is straightforward too. After arranging the rocks in the appropriate spots and securing them in the earth, you can strew the mulch around. Finally, if you set the stepping stones within gravel, dig a small hole for each one and pour mortar inside so the pavers will stick in place.


Of course, the path needs to be comfortable for walking along. You don't want to have to overstretch and take massive strides to reach each stepping stone. Neither will you want to take tiny baby steps. An average adult step can be around 75 cm. However, ultimately, consider who will wander along the path and whether they'll be adults or children. One way to discover the best gap is to dry-lay the stepping stones — to spread them along the ground and walk on them for a test run. You can try the same experiment with pieces of cardboard or paper. Measure from the centre of each paver to create evenly interspersed steps.

Contact a landscape supplies store near you to learn more.