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How to Do Landscaping With Flat Stones

By F.R.R. Mallory ; Updated September 21, 2017

Adding flat stones to your landscape is often an easy weekend project that will bring a casual, natural flavor to your garden. Because flat stones are irregularly shaped and sized you can use them in a variety of ways such as pathways, borders and short walls. Most larger flat stones are easy to walk on and all you need to install them are a few hand tools and perhaps a little sand.

Select the type of flat stone that you like at a stone yard and have the company deliver a pallet of stones to your home. These stones are usually wrapped in wire but it is a good idea to prevent children from access to the pallet while you are removing the stones.

Move the stones to a staging area close to where you want to install them. It is often a good idea to sort your stones by size, color and thickness while you are moving them since this will help you find the right stones for your project more easily. Keep in mind that stones are heavy and you will quickly tire of moving them.

Lay your stones out for a natural patio or walkway by positioning stones directly on the soil or lawn. It is very easy to forget your arrangement so try to work out an organized way of laying and installing the stones.

Cut around one stone at a time using a heavy gardening knife. Lift the stone and remove the sod and soil. Often you will want to seat the stone into the soil so that the stones are not a trip hazard. Use a hand trowel and shovel to dig out the amount of soil you need. Add sand to areas where you dig out too much.

Fit the stones into the soil until they are solid and do not rock at all. For the best appearance, keep the spacing even between the stones. Continue working one stone at a time so that you do not lose track of where stones fit.


Things You Will Need

  • Flat stones
  • Garden knife
  • Garden trowel
  • Hand shovel
  • Play sand


  • Adding stones to your landscape can be very seductive so don't be surprised if you decide on stone borders and stone walls after you have a few stone paths.

About the Author


F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.