illustration of flagstone path with steppable groundcover between stones
Illustration: Joe McKendry
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4. Repair and Green-Up Pathways

Why Now: Winter's freeze-thaw cycle can cause loose joints and cockeyed pavers, so reset and replenish them before one of your garden party guests takes a tumble.

How To Do It: Fill depleted joints with new sand or stone dust, hose down the pavers to set, then repeat. For pavers that have heaved out of place, add new base material before resetting. For flagstone, go a step further by planting steppable, ground-hugging herbs, such as woolly thyme or shade-tolerant miniature mat daisy, between stones to soften the look of their sharp edges. Simply dig out the joints, fill with loam-based compost, plant, and water.

The Payoff: Avoid a total walkway redo at about $6 to $20 per square foot for a pro job. If you opt for a groundcover, those green crack-fillers interspersed with hardscape add considerable curb appeal.
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