Unquestionably, pathways are a garden must-have element, which adds functionality and visual appeal and enhances the landscape.
Designed for practical or decorative reasons, pathways add a sense of completeness, dimension, and motion to the garden. Furthermore, when with curving lines, they are more eye-pleasing and can make a space feel larger.
Whether made of stone, gravel, bricks, wood slices, concrete, recycled tires, or a mix of stone and grass, with clean, simple, geometrical lines and shapes or in different patterns, pathways usually complement the overall exterior design.
Generally, whether dry-laid or mortared stone and brick paths are a heavy-use solution.
Garden décor elements, such as benches, pieces of garden art, edgings, or garden bridges positioned along the pathway add some extra visual interest.
For safety reasons, lighting should be also added. As they offer functionality and style, solar landscape lights are a favorite option.
Note that the width of pathways is customizable and depends entirely on their function and the landscape.
Direct pathways to the most used and most favorite garden areas or to attractive garden features, such as gazebos, fountains, ponds, pieces of garden art, benches, and more.
For larger spaces, incorporate multiple narrow, short pathways, which break up the landscape into smaller, distinct areas.
Generally, from simple, classic designs to elegant, contemporary solutions and mosaic-tiled designs, pathways definitely have an influence on the look of any outdoor space and are a way to add color, texture, and personality to any garden.
1. Stone and Gravel Pathways
Used alone, in different combos, and sometimes mixed with grass, stone and gravel are common, favorite pathway options, which give any garden a natural look. As pathways complement and enrich the exterior design and landscape, choose a solution that works well with the look of the space. Actually, both stone and gravel can be used in a plethora of ways and your choice depends entirely on the landscape, your needs, and taste.
Gravel is a budget-friendly, low-maintenance option, which helps create pathways that can stand a relatively heavy traffic. Adding an edging is a necessity, otherwise, gravel spills into the garden.
Note that wooden boards/including reclaimed ones/ positioned onto a layer of gravel usually make an appealing, functional pathway.
In sloped spaces, arranging stones into steps is a functional solution. For a natural look, mix stone pavers and grass or moss. Furthermore, this is an option to lend a truly unique look to your pathway. In addition, grass and/or other ground-hugging plants soften the sharp edges of the stone pavers incorporated in pathways. Not to mention that they offer a fantastic way to introduce some extra color, charm, and personality to any garden.
In the picture above, a pathway of stone pavers and grass in a charming garden. Blue recycled bottles are used to create a pathway edging. What a way to go green and add personality and artistic touches! Definitely impressive!
Using handmade stepping stones adorned with mosaic patterns in different shapes offers another way to beautify any pathway and add color and personal touches to any garden.
Note that when strategically positioned, garden elements, such as benches, bridges, lanterns, urns, art pieces, and more add extra visual interest, appeal, and personality and immediately turn into focal points.
Shown above is a pathway of stone pavers of an irregular, organic shape and pebbles. A wood bridge and a classic Japanese lantern add extra charm to this fascinating Zen garden.
Stones and mulch also work well together to make functional, appealing, and natural-looking pathways, especially for not often used areas. Use large pavers arranged at a comfortable-for-walking distance. Mulch is affordable and offers weed control. However, note that it has to be replenished each year.
In the picture above, a pathway made of stone and mulch leads to a garden fountain. A plethora of flowers along the pathway adds color, scent, and charm and makes this garden spot a feast for the senses!
When it comes to pathways running through water features, such as ponds, raised stone pathways are always an option to consider.
Above, a stone pathway in a pond.
For safety reasons, lighting flanking pathways is a must-have garden décor element. In addition, when creatively approached, lighting turns into a focal point and helps create a magical space.
Above shown, modern statement lighting flanking a garden pathway adds charm, romance, and personality and turns into a focal point in this garden.
2. Brick and Concrete Pathways
Unquestionably, brick pathways help lend any outdoor space a warm, inviting, classic look, which works well with almost any design style. Furthermore, when old, worn, broken bricks are used, they add rustic touches. As with stone designs, for extra visual interest and a truly unique look, different patterns and combination of materials can be used. For a harmonious look, it is always a smart idea to match brick walls with brick pathways. Another way to create a sense of continuity and harmony is to extend a brick-covered patio into brick pathways running through the garden.
As bricks come in an array of colors and finishes, it is not that difficult to create a brick pathway that fits into the overall landscape of any outdoor space.
In the picture above, a wide brick pathway framed by a myriad of blooming flowers and lush greenery. Boxwood topiaries add a sense of height and extra visual interest. Climbing roses bring scent, charm, and romance. So delightful!
Newer bricks, as well as concrete, offer a solution suitable for contemporary and formal spaces.
Usually, combos of concrete and gravel or concrete and river stones make striking pathways. Concrete pathways with inlaid bricks can lend tons of personality to any contemporary garden.
Above, a contemporary yard of minimal approach. A walkway of gravel and gray concrete pads at different levels adds functionality and visual interest. Grasses and trees help create a sculptural look.
3. Other Design Solutions
When it comes to garden paths, grass and turf are a common choice, which offers comfortable walking surface. Although when well-kept, they look tidy and graceful, both are a high-maintenance solution. However, blooming flowers definitely stand out against their background.
As already mentioned, combining different materials helps create truly impressive paths.
In the picture above, grass circles poisoned on top of a layer of pebbles lend a modern look to this space. Definitely a creative approach!
Unleash your imagination! Anything, from recycled tires and wooden pallets to leftover logs, colored pebbles, and cinder blocks to freeform slabs for a truly natural, rustic look to stenciled, painted, or patterned stones and pebble mosaic stepping stones, can be used to create a garden pathway! Unquestionably, such creative options can add visual interest and tons of personality to any garden.
Above shown is a small yet charming urban garden. Old tires repurposed as stepping stones add extra interest to this space with lush vegetation. Impressive, isn’t it?
Whether for functional or purely decorative purposes, well-designed pathways both enhance any garden and add extra visual interest, texture, and personality. With virtually endless design options, from easy, affordable DIY projects to customizable solutions, it depends on your landscape, needs, and taste to choose a pathway for your garden.