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Have the Best Yard on the Block with a DIY Pea Gravel Path

Tips on installing a pea gravel garden path, Backyard DIY project, How to install a garden path, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer CarrollToday I'm participating in the All Things Home “Elements of Summer” tour with some wonderful bloggers! You can explore all the inspiring projects via the links at the bottom of the post. Since I've been working so much in my garden lately I thought I'd share my tips on installing a pea gravel garden path.

My DIY skills have typically run more in the crafting/cooking/sewing arena, not so much the outdoor DIY landscaping arena so I was feeling a little nervous about my ability to do this project but thankfully I was fueled by my angst over my existing garden path to give it a whirl.

Townhouse Back Yard Before, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer CarrollYou can see my “before” yard photo above. We have had this little paver path since we moved in and I've always kind of hated it. Mostly because the path the builder had created wasn't a natural flow to the door so I tended to stray off of it, plus the fact that we have terrible drainage here, so whenever it rains the path would get really muddy.

Tip #1:
Determine your path area by thinking about which direction you naturally want to go.

As I mentioned, I continually found myself straying off the “official” path so when planning this new pathway I made sure to include that in the new layout.

While doing my “research”, I purposefully went in and out of my gate over and over to be sure I was planning correctly. I discovered that I don't usually open the gate fully when I'm coming and going so I wanted the path wide enough to accommodate me stepping in and out without stepping off the new path.

Because I also wanted to have some symmetry in the yard this meant I needed to make the path extra wide and center it on the gate. Now, when I open the gate I can just step right onto the rocks even if I don't open the gate all the way. hooray!

Tip #2:
Measure your space before you go to the home improvement store.

Even if you're just going “to look”, trust me, you'll want to have your measurements with you. So grab your measuring tape and jot down those dimensions before you head out.

Tip #3:
Plan your supplies and then double check your math.

There are lots and lots of beautiful options out there for paths: natural stone, bricks, crushed oyster shells, manmade pavers and rocks.

Fortunately for me, I happen to really love the look of pea gravel.

I say fortunately because it is also a fairly budget-friendly option, especially when you compare it to the pavers – yikes!

But when you are working with things like rocks, be sure you check your math and then double check it. I didn't and ended up having to make a second trip to the store!

Also, here's a quick list of supplies that I used for my project:

  • Sand
  • Edging
  • Landscaping Fabric
  • Landscape Fabric Pins


  • Pea Gravel
  • Shovels (round edge + flat edge)
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Scissors
  • Hose


Tips on installing a pea gravel garden path, Backyard DIY project, How to install a garden path, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll

Tip #4:
Prepare your ground.

Once I had all my supplies (finally!), the first step for me was to remove the pavers (don't worry, I kept them for another part of my yard). I used a shovel to help me pry them up from the ground.

This left me with square-shaped holes in the ground which I decided to fill with sand to make the ground at least fairly level.

It wasn't perfectly level but since I knew I was going to be using rocks which would be a bit forgiving, I decided not to be too persnickety about it.

Tips on installing a pea gravel garden path, Backyard DIY project, How to install a garden path, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll

Tip #5:
Install Edging & Keep Weeds at Bay.

Because I didn't want the rocks rolling around into my grass, I decided to put in edging.

I liked this little black scalloped edging – not only was it budget friendly but it also has a sweet charm to it which I of course liked.

The edging has points on the bottom to help it go into the ground but I found that by making a shallow continuous line in the ground where I wanted the edging to go – made this process go way, way faster.

Once I had the “guide” line marked, then I could just bang the edging into place with the help of a rubber mallet. My little one got really excited about this part and loved trying to bang them into the ground!

Next, I decided to install landscape fabric. Now, you don't have to do this, but, it goes a long, long way towards keeping grass and other weeds from creeping up through the rocks.

It's not a 100% blocker but so far it's doing a 99% job, so I'm happy I didn't skip this step.

You simply unroll the fabric along your path, cut the length you need and then push the landscape pins into the ground to keep the fabric in place. This step takes only a few minutes.

Tips on installing a pea gravel garden path, Backyard DIY project, How to install a garden path, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll

Tip #6:
Pour your Rocks

And finally, you are ready to pour your rocks onto your path!

I recommend starting at the furthest point and working your way back. I had my rocks all out by my car so I started pouring up by the house.

This meant that my trips of carrying the heavy bags got shorter and shorter as I worked, which was a nice feeling as I got progressively more tired.

Tips on installing a pea gravel garden path, Backyard DIY project, How to install a garden path, Celebrating Everyday Life with Jennifer Carroll

Tip #7:
Rinse and Enjoy!

The rocks right out of the bag were pretty dusty so my final step was to rinse them and then sit down with a giant glass of iced tea and enjoy my handiwork.

I was honestly surprised and delighted that I was able to do this job on my own and in a single afternoon!

 

 

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I hope you enjoyed this collection of tips on installing a pea gravel garden path and remember there are lots more fun projects to explore ~ I hope you'll visit the links below:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Happy Celebrating!

Jennifer Carroll. Celebrating Everyday Life blog

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34 thoughts on “Have the Best Yard on the Block with a DIY Pea Gravel Path

  1. [email protected] says:

    What a great job you did! I love the look of a pea gravel path. I think you were super smart to use the landscape fabric to help keep pesky weeds at bay. I know you smile every time you see the end result of your handiwork!!

  2. Suzy @ Worthing Court says:

    I just love pea gravel paths, Jennifer. Yours looks so awesome and totally transforms the look of your yard. Great job! Thank you for teaching us the right way to do it.

  3. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    Jennifer, what a transformation. Your yard is gorgeous. Pea gravel looks so sophisticated! I love the sound of it under foot! Great job for your first foray into the landscaping arts! You have given me inspiration… I have a small area I’ve been thinking about adding pea gravel to also!

  4. Doreen @ Hymns and Verses says:

    Oh, Jennifer! I have been wanting to do a pea gravel path for so long, but thought it would be much more difficult! This is totally doable and I can’t wait to get started!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Courtney says:

    Beautiful~ I just love pea gravel paths and patios- so casual and gorgeous at the same time!

  6. [email protected] says:

    Wow! I love your pea gravel path. I’ve been trying to convince my husband to go with pea gravel for a path at a barn. He was trying to convince me to go with mulch, but your post just put me over the edge. Thanks for the steps and inspiration. Pinning.

  7. Sondra @ Sondra Lyn at Home says:

    Love your pea gravel path! So proud of you for doing it in an afternoon… wow! And it looks perfect for this part of your yard. Well done!!

  8. Marty Walden says:

    That looks amazing, Jennifer! You have definitely made the most of your space. Thanks for joining us on our tour!

  9. anne says:

    That looks great! I tried laying a mulch path last year in our woods but the weeds swallowed it. I did not use fabric. I think I am going to re-do it this summer using your tips and pea gravel. Thank you so much!

  10. Angela says:

    You path looks amazing and completely changed the look of the yard. GREAT job!! So glad to be part of the tour with you! 🙂

  11. Richella Parham says:

    This is AWESOME! Your path looks wonderful, and your instructions are so nice and detailed. Thank you for listing out all the steps. I would never have believed that you could do this yourself with pea gravel purchased in bags. It looks as if you paid a landscaper to do it for you! I’ve pinned this to my Outdoor Inspiration board; I’ll be referring to it, you can bet!

  12. Botanic Bleu says:

    Love, love, love your pea gravel walkway…so French! Where did you get your scalloped edging? We need to redo our pea gravel drive, and I would love to use the scalloped edging.

    Judith

    • Jennifer says:

      > Thank you so much Judith! I got it at Lowe’s. It’s a hard plastic and very easy to install. I hope it works for you too!!

  13. Jenna says:

    Your path looks lovely. How are you getting along with the pea gravel? We just extended our patio with pea gravel and a few pavers. I love the look, but we “kick” up the pea gravel when we walk across it as do the doggies. I’ve read you can apply an epoxy to “set” the pea gravel, did you do that? Thanks!

  14. holly says:

    Hi! LOVE your pea gravel path. You did an amazing job!! What brand did you use? Did you get it at a big box store? I’ve been looking everywhere for that color of pea gravel. Thanks!

  15. Pingback: Seven Ways to Celebrate June | Celebrating everyday life with Jennifer Carroll

  16. Dealhut says:

    That was the nice Blog now now we are able to make fabulous home at the limited budget because we need to implement our product in the good manner its not matter to go for the expensive material. you should decor home and garden with right way that is written in this article you should use 10mm pea shingle to decor your garden. if you used material in the right way you should definitely get the better result

  17. AAA Concreting says:

    If there’s one part I would agree about your post, it’s this “Even if you’re just going “to look”, trust me, you’ll want to have your measurements with you. So grab your measuring tape and jot down those dimensions before you head out.”

    Overall, I love how you have explained and shared your insights.

  18. leslie says:

    Thank you for the article. I might have missed it in the article/comments, but how thick is the layer of pea gravel?

  19. click here says:

    great and nice post applicable here

  20. Scott Lewis says:

    Scott Lewis Landscape Construction Pty Ltd, established in 2003, is a family owned and operated business and services the NSW Central Coast and Lower Newcastle region.

    Scott Lewis has over 24 years of personal experience in the landscaping industry, and has built a reputation based on trust and quality workmanship. His referred and repeat business is testimony to his high standards.

    The friendly, dedicated team at Scott Lewis Landscape Construction offers a reliable service that combines your ideas with my expert knowledge to create your ideal garden.

    We use local suppliers and offer all aspects of landscaping from design & construction, earthmoving & drainage, paving & timber work, decks & pergolas, to concreting, retaining walls, steps, and the finishing touches of mulch, plants and turf.

    We are fully licensed and insured, and dedicated to customer satisfaction.

    So why not call or email us for your consultation and free quote.

  21. Emily Whitaker says:

    Like others, I would like to know how deep the pea gravel is and how has it stayed in the edging over time?

    Looks great! Thanks

  22. Jenny says:

    Love your pathway! What is width?

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