week­end PROJECT

A gar­den mo­saic

Essentials (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Make a gar­den path or an en­trance­way into a work of art by us­ing bulk-bought stones to form a unique peb­ble mo­saic. You can cre­ate any de­sign you de­sire, just en­sure that you use the cor­rect ra­tio of sand to ce­ment. Deb­o­rah Sch­nee­beli-Mor­rell, au­thor of The Dec­o­rated Gar­den (CICO Books), ex­plains how…

You will need

Ag­gre­gate; gar­den rake; four large black peb­bles; sack of medi­um­sized grey river peb­bles; sack of small white river peb­bles; sack of small brown/pur­ple peb­bles; sack of pur­ple/ black slate pieces; sharp sand; ce­ment; spade; brick­layer’s float; sharp pointed stick; small brush

1. Lay a base

Fill the area cho­sen for the mo­saic with ag­gre­gate to a depth of 10cm to make a firm base. Rake it level and tread it down. The mo­saic will be around 6cm deep, so make al­lowance for this depth on top of the base.

2. Sort the slate and peb­bles

You will need to pick out evenly sized stones. Have a con­tainer of medium-sized grey peb­bles, one of smaller white ones, and another of small brown/pur­ple. Sort a smaller num­ber of slate pieces. Wash all of the stones and slate thor­oughly.

3. Cre­ate a mor­tar layer

Com­bine two parts sand to one part ce­ment and pour over the area on top of the ag­gre­gate to a depth of ap­prox­i­mately 6cm. Firm and level us­ing a brick­layer’s float.

4. Mark your de­sign

Us­ing a sharp pointed stick, draw your de­sign into the dry mor­tar. The outer bor­der needs to be wide enough to ac­com­mo­date three rows of the larger peb­bles. Mark a di­a­mond within the rec­tan­gle and a cir­cle within the di­a­mond.

5. Cre­ate the bor­der

Push three rows of medium-sized grey peb­bles into the mor­tar mix to at least half their depth to make the bor­der. Use them on their sides, length­ways, with the nar­row­est edge fac­ing up.

6. Fill in the cen­tre

Draw an eight-pointed star in the cen­tral cir­cle and push in two or three slate pieces to make each arm, thin edges fac­ing up. Care­fully push small white peb­bles be­tween the slate lines, so the star keeps its shape.

7. Fin­ish the di­a­mond shape

Use small brown/pur­ple peb­bles to sur­round the cen­tral mo­tif, ar­rang­ing them neatly in a con­cen­tric pat­tern. Fill in the whole di­a­mond area in this way, push­ing the peb­bles into the mor­tar. Pack them down evenly with the brick­layer’s float.

8. Com­plete the de­sign

Take the four black peb­bles and lay them flat side up in the cen­tre of the tri­an­gu­lar spa­ces. Fill in the re­main­ing spa­ces with white peb­bles.

9. Dam­pen the sur­face

Add a cou­ple of shov­els of dry mor­tar mix to fill in and even out the base. Brush off the ex­cess. Spray the mo­saic with a fine mist from a hose to dam­pen the sur­face, and leave to set.

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