This month, author Deborah Schneebeli-morrell shares her ideas
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