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Garden Path in a Wheelbarrow

Updated: May 01, 2023

No heavy lifting, no fancy tools and really, really cheap!

garden path in a wheelbarrowFamily Handyman
This garden path is as easy to build as it is to look at and walk on. A bundle or two of cedar shakes, a roll of landscape fabric, a few bags of mulch and a couple of hours are all it takes to build it.

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DIY Garden Path

To create the garden path edging, cut 18-in.-long cedar shakes in half, then pound the 9-in. sections about halfway into the ground. Shakes are naturally rot-resistant and should last 5 to 10 years or more. And since they’re tapered, they’re easy to install. Bear in mind, shakes will split and break if you try to pound them into soil with lots of rocks, roots or heavy clay; this path works best in a garden setting with loose soil. Be sure to check out our best garden edging tips.

The landscape fabric helps prevent weeds from growing up into the path, and creates a barrier so the dirt below remains separate from the path materials above.

The garden path material itself can be wood chips, shredded bark, decorative stone—just about anything.

Here’s How to Build This Garden Path in Three Steps:

Before you get started, place a scrap 2×6  on top of each shake and pound on that  if you find you’re breaking shakes as you drive them in. The 2×6 will help  distribute the blow more evenly across the top of the shake.

garden path cedar shakes

1. Install Cedar Shakes

Pound the cedar shakes into the soil using a small mallet. Stagger every other shake, overlapping the previous shake by about 1/2 in.

garden path landscape fabric

2. Measure Landscaping Fabric

Trim or fold the fabric so it follows the contour of the cedar shake edging. On sloped ground, use U-shaped sod staples to hold the fabric.

garden path mulch

3. Lay Out Mulch

Install a 2- to 3-in. layer of wood chips, shredded bark or stone over the landscape fabric.