Almost any desert-dwelling denizen of Las Vegas knows the difficulties associated with maintaining landscape and gardens in an area not exactly known for its precipitation. Some might say that’s the downside of living in a city that boasts an average 300 sunny days per year. The solution, of course, is desertscaping or xeriscaping, both of which are designed around the concept of a landscape that requires little to no water. Laying a stone path in such an environment can be both functional and decorative.
Need some ideas for installing a stone path in your dusty landscape? Here are a few choices:
Flat Stone Walkway
Use flat, large stones for creating a path that divides your outdoor space or provides better access to all areas of the yard. Lay one stone in front of the other in single file or in double rows to create a wider walkway. Leave some space between the stones, but make sure they’re not so far apart that it’s difficult to step from one to the next.
Instead of just laying stones on the ground, try laying a path of red, gray, or ocher gravel. Add a border of bricks or larger rocks to contain the gravel and create a more finished look, if desired. Then set colored paving stones, such as flagstones, along the gravel path. For even more variety, set pavers across a bed of heat-tolerant plants and vegetation.
You can use concrete for a faux-stone walkway that’s easy on the budget. Pour concrete into a rock form on a leveled walkway area. After the concrete sets for a few minutes, remove the form and repeat to create a new slab. Do this until your walkway is complete. Once the concrete has completely set, which may take a day or two, fill the cracks with sand or gravel.
Softening the Look
While a traditional turf grass lawn may be out of the question in the desert, several varieties of drought-tolerant grasses are available. Native buffalo grass provides a natural solution. Lay your stone path over this green grass bed. The resulting mixture of soft and hard elements complements each other. The vegetation provides some cooling properties as well. Otherwise, too much hardscape collects heat and drives up the temperature in your yard.
Combining these ideas with other landscape features will help turn any dry, dusty desert yard into a tranquil, welcoming outdoor area of your home. You will enjoy relaxing, entertaining, and even the occasional rain shower.