Natural stone is an amazing material, traditionally used to create garden paths, as an integral element of landscape design. Being a part of nature, he harmoniously looks in any garden, regardless of his style decision. The combination of different shades of stone and its textures with the riot of colors of lawns and flower beds will not leave anyone indifferent. Walking along such paths, it is impossible not to feel unity with nature, even within a few hundred. However, only for the beauty of natural stone, many owners of country houses are ready to pay a tidy sum? Of course not.
The natural stone is ideal for the construction of any paths and areas in the garden, regardless of their functional purpose and operating conditions.
This material has excellent performance. Tempered in battles with the most diverse natural elements, it can serve you more than a dozen years. Properly laid natural stone for the tracks can
It is necessary to clearly distinguish the concept of rock of natural stone( granite, sandstone, etc.) and its type( cobblestone, flagstone, paving stone, etc.).The breed determines the origin of the stone, its mineral composition. The type reflects the characteristic shape of the fragments of stones imparted to them in one way or another. So, the cobblestone is a rounded shape and a small-sized pellet debris. There is a huge number of the most diverse rocks of natural stone, each of which has its own peculiarities, advantages and disadvantages.
Today, the paving of tracks with stone involves the predominant use of the following rocks: granite, sandstone, shale, shungite, quartzite.
Granite is a rock containing quartz, mica and feldspar. It has a high degree of strength, resistance to weathering, frost and moisture, the ability to withstand up to two hundred freeze-thaw cycles. Granite is noteworthy and a wide range of colors - from gray to dark red. The color of the shade depends on the content of the feldspar. It is the most common stone for paving garden paths.
Slate is a rock, characterized by a layered structure. The low-temperature minerals entering into their composition are arranged parallel to each other( in the form of layers), which determines the ability of the stones to split into thin plates. It is for this reason that shales are mostly found in the form of slabs. Many of their species are characterized by a certain degree of porosity, so they need additional treatment with special protective compounds. The closest to the operational characteristics of the granite is quartzite slate, which is most often used for road paving.
Quartzite is essentially quartzite shale with mica content. Characterized by high strength and hardness, which creates certain difficulties in processing. Usually has a white, reddish, greenish or gray color. The shade of the stone can vary depending on the quality and degree of illumination. Quartzite is perfect for paving garden paths, because it is surprisingly beautiful and durable.
Modern garden paths made of natural shungite stone - also a good solution for decorating the site. Shungite can be layered or monolithic. In the latter case, the rock is characterized by a rather high density and strength, resistance to abrasion, frost and chemical influences. The color scheme is not so wide - black color and a variety of shades of gray. Quartz or pyrite impregnations are frequent, giving veins of white or golden color.
Especially popular along with granite is the natural stone sandstone. He is a bit inferior to him in hardness, but it is quite durable. At the same time, the degree of longevity is affected by the quality of the stone itself, its processing and deposit. Due to the fact that the sandstone can be processed without any problems, it can easily be shaped into any shape. Expands the color range of the garden due to the light yellow, pinkish, pale yellow or gray-green hue.
As for the type of natural stone used for paving the tracks, it is recommended to pay attention to the flagstone, chipped paving stones, cobblestones, sawn stone and boulders. The flagstone is a natural stone, which is a different form of flat plate with chipped edges. Ideal for setting up pedestrian areas in the garden and decorative paths.
Can be laid on a sandy-gravel or concrete base, the choice of which depends on the thickness of the slab. Crushed pavers are stones of hard rocks( shungite or granite) having a shape approximating to a rectangle or a square with chipped edges. Layed on a quality basis, it does not require additional strengthening of the borders. Such garden paths made of natural stone can withstand heavy loads and last for many years. However, walking on them in shoes with a thin hairpin is not recommended, since the width of the seam between the stones is about 1-1.5 cm.
The sawn stone was named after mechanical machining - sawing and subsequent polishing. The finished stone most often has the form of a rectangle with even edges, which creates a certain comfort when paving the path. To create decorative paths is widely used cobblestone - a natural rounded stone of small dimensions. As a rule, it is a rounded shape of fragments of rocks such as granite and quartz. Thanks to the nice shape and wide color gamut, it allows you to create not only beautiful cobblestone paths, but whole stone panels. A larger version of the cobblestone is a boulder.
If you have wondered how to make a path of stone, then you should learn the basic ways of paving. These include paving on concrete or a sand-gravel "pillow"( dry or wet).The technology of paving in both cases is not much different, but there are a number of nuances, nevertheless. So, no matter what method of laying a natural stone you choose, you need to dig a so-called "trough", which is a kind of channel of your path. Its depth can be different and depends on the quality of the soil, the depth of the groundwater. For weak soils, it can reach 60 cm, and for strong ones - only 25-30 cm.
The bottom of the "trough" is recommended to be laid with geotextile, which prevents germination of weeds on the track, its subsidence into the ground and flooding of the ground with ground waters.
If you lay the stone on a damp sand pillow, the next step will be filling the excavated trench( 25-30 cm) with rubble. The height of this layer usually does not exceed 10 cm. The crushed stone is carefully compacted and covered with a layer of sand of 10-15 cm. It should be noted that the sand filling of the trench should be done gradually - in layers of 5-7 cm. Each layer is watered and tamped. Then you can start laying stones according to a pre-designed scheme.
After the completion of paving, the space between the stones is filled with sand: it simply crumbles over the surface of the finished track, then it is thrown into the seams with a broom or brush. If there are excess sand, they are eliminated, and the entire path is filled with water, which allows the sand to evenly fill the seams. Dry paving differs from wet paving only in that a sand-cement mixture is poured onto a base of the same rubble( 10 cm) and wet sand( 10 cm) in a proportion of 3: 1( 5-7 cm).In this mixture, stones are laid, the formed joints are filled with dry sand, and the entire path is again filled with water.
Paving for concrete after digging a trench involves the manufacture of a formwork for the track, which is removed only after the concrete mixture has completely dried out. It is poured on a previously laid layer of crushed stone( 10-15 cm) and sand( 10 cm).The thickness of the concrete layer usually does not exceed 15 cm. To prevent the cracking of concrete during drying, it is recommended to water it several times a day.
To prevent the negative consequences of expansion of the concrete base with temperature changes, it is possible to use the device of temperature joints. For this, after every 2-4 m of the trench of the future path, planks about 2 cm thick are laid across the formwork. After removal of the formwork, dry sand( 5-6 cm) is poured onto the concrete base, in which the stones are "drowned".Then, as in the previous ways of paving, the seams are filled with sand, and the path is filled with water. Thus, it's not so difficult to lay beautiful paths on a cottage made of stone, as it might seem at first glance.