peb­ble mo­saic

This month, author Deb­o­rah Sch­nee­beli-mor­rell shares her ideas

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Make a per­son­alised fea­ture in your gar­den

Make a gar­den path or en­trance­way into a work of art by us­ing bulk-bought stones to make a unique peb­ble mo­saic. Cre­ate any de­sign you de­sire, just make sure you use the cor­rect ra­tio of sand to ce­ment. Deb­o­rah Sch­nee­beli-mor­rell, author of The Dec­o­rated Gar­den (£12.99, 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 river 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 peb­bles And slate 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 them all thor­oughly.

3 cre­ate A mor­tar Layer Mix two parts sand to one part ce­ment and fill in the area on top of the ag­gre­gate to a depth of ap­prox­i­mately 6cm. Firm and level with 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 eight­pointed 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 in the di­a­mond 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.

Re­mem­ber to use slow-set­ting ce­ment to al­low you to com­plete your de­sign with plenty of time

a sim­ple peb­ble mo­saic makes an at­trac­tive fea­ture as part of a path or en­trance­way

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