Building a simple path in your yard is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to add character, functionality and charm to your landscaping. Whether to help keep traffic off of your lawn, or just to change the look of your garden area, a walkway makes an excellent accent to any home or garden. When constructing your walkway, there are a variety of different variables to think about, including durability, look, feel and materials. A landscape construction expert can help you select the right walkway design for your needs, however it’s good to have a good grasp of what you need before you start talking about installation.
The first step to a great-looking walkway is solid planning. Start with location, and go from there. Is there someplace that naturally lends itself to a walkway? Are you creating a whole new space to accent and enjoy? Choose a location, and then decide on the general look that you are going for. Knowing what you want will help you select the right walkway design for your location.
Deciding on the right materials for the job can be one of the most exciting, and most tedious steps in the construction of your walkway. With all of the both natural and man made options available, it can be hard to choose. Narrow down your selection by matching all potential materials with the style of your home, your budget and what is readily available in your area. Popular options include:
Stone has always been one of the most popular options for a garden walkway. It looks natural, is completely unique and gives you the walkway you need with a less structured look. Although it looks great, and has a large number of style options available, stone remains one of the more expensive options out there.
Gravel or Rock
A great looking, yet inexpensive alternative to stone is a walkway made of pebbles, crushed stone or gravel. This type of walkway is placed within a border that will help keep the small stones from being scattered all over your lawn. Although this type of path can be difficult to clear during snow, it offers great drainage and affordable good looks
Brick walkways are very similar to stone walkways, but slightly less expensive. They provide you with a rustic, natural looking aesthetic. Unlike a stone path, however, brick paths normally have a high level of uniformity, due to the standard sizing of bricks. That being said, there are unlimited options for arranging, organizing and creating patterns in a brick pathway. To ensure that your pathway is built to last, always use paving bricks, rather than wall bricks.
Grass is typically not the first material that comes to mind when considering the addition of a garden path. Under the right conditions, such as creating a winding path through a full garden, a grass path can give you a soft, appealing natural surface. In contrast with other types of walkways, a grass path does require frequent mowing, watering and fertilizing to keep its appeal.
Similar to gravel pathways, mulch is very popular because it provides a natural look at a relatively low cost. Unlike other options, however, a mulch path will need to be renewed frequently because it will deteriorate, wear and break down as time goes on.
A great way to further enhance the look of your garden walkway is to add enhancements, such as benches, planters, lighting and other garden features. Additions such as strategic lighting can bring attention to certain features of your landscaping, your home or the path itself. Benches and other resting places can create unique places to relax and unwind, have a conversation or just enjoy a cup of coffee.
Although walkways are not given as much credit as they sometimes deserve, even the simplest walkway can make a dramatic impact on your landscape design. Your walkway can help you create an interesting detail in your otherwise “plain” landscaping, direct foot traffic in a certain direction, create a border or just prevent wear on a frequently taken path. Regardless of the purpose of your walkway, it is sure to stand out, enhance and beautify your outdoor space.