9 Ideas for Garden Pathways

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The garden path is a byline through your backyard and should suit the overall design of your home just as well as the wallpaper or paint job. Each pathway should reflect the garden it’s housed in, which can sometimes be a difficult task. We’ve collected a few ideas and tips that can help you find the right natural stone pairing to suit your home’s design.

The first step when designing a garden path is to sort your base building blocks. The best material for a pathway is stone, as it’s strong, durable, natural, and versatile enough to suit most designs. There are a few different materials that can be paired with the stone to create a visually appealing and cohesive garden pathway. Some materials may depend on the type of garden look you’re trying to achieve, while others are simply aesthetic choices.

Sand

Sand is very prevalent in modern Japanese gardening, as it is used to represent water in lieu of a running creek. If you’ve ever seen sand and rock gardens that are carefully swept into intricate, waved patterns, you’ll understand that sand can be used to make a space flow smoothly.

It can be a bit awkward to decorate with, as you might imagine, and requires a little maintenance now again to keep it together. Luckily, it’s not more work than you’d need to upkeep the plant life you’re replacing.

Gravel

The soft crunch of gravel underfoot is a very pleasant sound for a garden to stroll through. If you’re looking for something to illustrate a journey – if your garden is very much a place of importance to you – there’s nothing better.

Decorative chips with interspersed stone pavers are a natural accompaniment to any garden, and if you’re enamoured by the look, you can forgo most of the stone. Stone and gravel paths work excellently together with stone used as a border and container, providing both a boundary for clutter and a visually appealing outline to the path.

Pebbles

While pebbles on their own don’t provide the most stable path to walk on, setting them in concrete means you won’t have to worry about them moving underneath your feet. The best thing about pebbles is that they come in such a great range of colours, textures, and sizes, so you can really create something unique and visually stunning. You could even consider using the different colours of the pebbles to trace an outline or design on your footpath! Be creative with this one. Don’t forget to set the pebbles with their flattest side facing up to make walking over the pathway easier.

Moss

A slightly off-kilter approach that can be used to great effect is to create a naturally seamless look using rough stone cuts with thick moss growing in between. This gives the visual of a straight, flat path without cracks or man-made joining between them. Instead, it goes for a natural look, appearing like an overgrown rocky formation.

Grass

Well cut grass used in between pavers is another element of modern Japanese gardens. Splicing cut stone and mown grass joins together the manmade and natural space, which can double in effect if your pavers are the same stone type as your backyard pavers.

Conversely, rough stone with grass looks natural without attempting to make a statement, and is an excellent choice for anyone seeking to add a path to a garden without drastically changing the composition.

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Design with a goal and journey

A very important thing to consider when designing a path is the concept of a path itself. A path has a goal and destination.

This is simple enough if you’re just after a building block between the shed and the house, but if you’re trying to create a garden, it should go places. If you have a focal point, for example a pond or outcrop of trees, consider putting in a bench of somewhere to sit and appreciate it. Much like you’d put visually interesting things outside of a window, consider sprinkling any ornaments you have around the edges of your path. If the goal is to meander, you may as well give a reason to meander about.

Plant between them

If you’ve got the right setup, you can plant between your pavers with some simple plant life. Low maintenance, smaller plants that don’t need too much sunlight are your best bets, but consider the overall area of your garden before planting any. A couple of good plants include:

  • Blue Star Creepers,
  • Oregano Grass,
  • Viola Hederacea,
  • Clover,
  • Sedum, and
  • Kidney Weed.

Remember if you’re considering this that drainage and soil health are still as important here as anywhere else. Keep your plants healthy, or they’ll soon start pushing up the daisies.

Small plants such as these, or even smaller shrubs like Lavender, can even be used as edgers.

Raise it up

If you’re building a staircase, a simple flagstone placed upon a similar stone of a thicker cut works as a header and riser combination without having to disrupt the flow of your path. If you’re trying to cultivate a rocky walkway, the last thing you want is a wooden boardwalk separating it.

Raise it up with gravel

Got a gravel path that needs stairs? Use stone edgers before laying gravel in the interior of the pit. You’ll keep cohesion without losing practicality.

Pay attention to rain

Consider drainages for your path. Particularly gravel-thick or soil-rich gardens can be a nightmare to traverse if it starts pouring down, especially if you live in a tropical area such as Queensland.

Pavers are a good way to navigate a garden during a downpour, and certain gravel types are a lot better for rain than others. If you’re somewhere with a fair amount of rain throughout the year, a thicker gravel type and\or pavers might be the best bet to allow filtering, not just for you, but for the flower bed as well.