Once the stones were removed, we used an edger and a flat spade to excavate the dirt down a few inches (approx. 2″ for the paver base and 1.5″ for the flagstones and pea gravel). We then added metal edging, which by sheer luck came in 8′ and 4′ lengths which we combined for our 12′ walkway.
To distribute the paver base, we placed the bags in a grid over the whole walkway area and then cut open the bags with the edger and dumped the base out.
We used a 10″ x 10″ tamper to pack down the base layer, then unrolled landscape fabric over the whole surface and used landscape staples to hold it in place. We used a recycled fabric made from soda bottles.
We placed and nudged the flagstones till they looked evenly distributed.
We filled in around the flagstones with pea gravel, hauled off the unused materials, replaced the mulch in adjoining beds, hosed the whole thing off and went and had a beer to celebrate!
UPDATE: It’s a month later and I just wanted to report on how the pea gravel has worked for us. It has gotten on the flagstones a bit here and there, and the walkway overall was not practical when we had a new refrigerator delivered. But other than that we’re very happy with the look and materials! Here’s an updated photo where the landscaping has grown in, the trim has been painted and we’ve added planted pots and new house numbers.