Path Maintenance: Resurfacing Paths
The most usual types of paths are gravel or concrete. Gravel paths require a great deal of attention in weeding, raking and rolling them. Concrete paths are more permanent.
As an alternative to these, ‘Colas’ paths are very attractive and hard-wearing. A Colas surface may be given to an existing gravel or to an earthen path, if the surface is well packed down and hardened. Colas in a by-product of coal, and this is obtainable in liquid form quite cheaply from localcompanies. The surface for treatment is simply prepared by wetting it and brushing it with a soft sweeping-brush; this removes all loose surface particles and presents a good base for the Colas. The Colas is applied with a watering can, with the rose removed, and it may be thinned with water up to 50 per cent of the liquid bulk. The Colas is poured thinly on the prepared surface, and then brushed again, using a soft sweeping-brush. The direction of the sweeping should always be towards the untreated part of the path. While the Colas is still wet and tacky, it should be covered with small shingle of not more than in. (The size of shingle is determined by the mesh of the sieve through which it is riddled.)
As an alternative to shingle, very coarse sand may be used. The surface of the Colas is thinly covered with the shingle, which is best spread with a shovel by throwing the surface material with a swinging, sweeping movement. The path should be left to harden for several days and then may be lightly swept to remove any of the loose covering. Paths of this sort are best resurfaced at intervals of from two to three years. Edges of paths, Colas-ed, should be protected with thin strips of board bedded and pegged into the soil. These may be removed after the Colas has hardened.
It is important when laying paths of any kind to ensure that surface water can run off easily and will not collect into puddles. This is especially necessary in winter months, when there is a danger of freezing. The run of a path may be determined with a spirit-level placed on a straight edge, supported by pegs driven into the soil at the sides of the path. Garden paths should be given a slight camber, by raising the middle of the path slightly above the level of the edges.