Gardens are wonderful additions to any home. Whether it’s in an urban or country setting, whether you have primarily trees and shrubbery or beautiful and diversely coloured flowers, all gardens help enhance the beauty of your home, as well as its market value.
Having a bigger garden on your property maximizes these effects, but sometimes it can be hard to arrange your garden in such a way that it is readable and easy to get around. But hey, that's why garden paths were invented! Garden paths can be made out of many different materials and fit with so many garden different styles.
We are going to show you a few different garden paths you can implement in your very own back yard, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. We will go through the more informal path, where the path reflects the informality and ease of maintenance of the garden, to more formal ideas that showcase precision and keep things nice and neat.
Before you even get started on designing a garden path, you need to know all of the different aspects of your garden to find out which path would be right for it and you. For example, if you have a Japanese style garden, a path that goes very well with that style is a simple stone path.
Aside from basic aesthetics, you should have the layout of your garden in mind when designing the path – that means where the path starts, how it winds (if it even will) through the garden, and where the path leads you in the end. Most garden paths start or end at the home’s entrance and lead somewhere secluded and relaxing, like an outdoor patio, but those don’t have to be your only options. A garden path can be a simple semicircle leading nowhere. The choice is yours.
Gravel pathways are very common in the gardening world and enhance the aesthetic properties of any garden. They are the easiest to build, as all you do is lay the gravel down on the path you desire, and they are rather informal. But their informality can easily be dressed up with a simple limestone border.
Gravel feels soft underfoot, but is solid enough to handle a wheelbarrow full of supplies. These paths are best for light to moderate foot traffic. The downside of gravel is that it is not ideal for paths leading to the home, as small stones tend to get stuck in shoes and end up on the floor, creating unnecessary mess. It's also not the best choice if you have to shovel in the winter. However, in the long run, a gravel path will last indefinitely with the right upkeep.
Turf might just be one of the easiest and most natural looking garden paths you could have. Turf is grass and a bit of soil beneath it held together by roots or a piece of thin material that creates a roll of grass that you can lay anywhere you want. Many people love turf because you can roll it out and have the grass you want without having to wait for seed to grow.
Once you have laid the turf down, watered it, and trimmed the edges, it looks good straight away. After the joints knit together, which takes about a week, you can recline on it and walk all over it. One of the disadvantages is that top quality turf costs about 130£ for 30 square metres. Another disadvantage is the time it takes for the turf to sit well on the ground before you can comfortably walk on it.
Stone garden paths are another rather informal one to have, as the stones in these paths tend to be large and spaced far apart. Stone paths are very durable and versatile, as they can be arranged in just about any pattern to suit your garden and style.
Stone pathways can be positioned so that either grass or gravel peeks out in between and creates a more informal path, or you can follow this image and place them right next to each other for a more formal and solid walkway. One of the disadvantages of spacing out your stones is that they can come unearthed with a lot of foot traffic, but this kind of path is much cheaper than the solid stone path.
Pavers have been in existence since the Romans cut and placed stone on gravel beds to make durable roads. Pavers can withstand heavy use and modern versions are generally made from concrete, clay, or stone. They are highly decorative paths and you can choose from many different colours or patterns when designing a path.
It's an all-round great material for paths, walkways, and even driveways. A paver path is a pretty labor intensive project for which you will probably need to rent a heavy plate compactor for proper installation. But the end result of this kind of flooring is well worth the struggle. You will have a tightly fitted, smooth path that is comparable to concrete in its durability.
Mulch is another favourite in the gardening community. Normally used in flower or shrub beds as decorative cover, this versatile material can also be used to create unique garden paths. Wooden mulch paths are rather informal paths, but that does not mean that their style is compromised.
Mulch is very easy to lay – just pour it out of the bag and onto your path. It can also be formed into any shape, unlike solid materials like stone. One major disadvantage to mulch is that it is a flammable substance. Left unmanned in the hot summer sun, mulch can spontaneously catch fire, as it is a pile of dried wooden pieces, and that obviously does not bode well for your garden, home, or personal well-being! If you live in a very hot and humid climate, we do not recommend the use of mulch.
If your lust for gardening tips hasn't been sated, we recommend checking out easy ways to attract wildlife to your garden!