A garden path can be a lot more than simply a way of getting to your front door or to the shed. It can be a landscaping design element in its own right. The choices available are almost endless making it a stylish and practical option to make your garden more attractive and interesting.
While laying the path may seem like hard work it is actually a fairly simple process. It is the choosing of the material to put on the path that is the hard bit. With the multitude of choices available, it is always good to know which materials suit certain parts of the garden, temperatures and soils.
Old ceramic tiles, coloured glass stones and home-made concrete flat stones can be used for interesting and attractive stepping stones. Kits can be purchased from diy stores to make your own stones and these can be used in any desired pattern. Simply prepare the pathway in the usual way with a layer of sand on the base. Add a concrete mix and push the stones or tiles into it. Try different shapes and colours together to get something unique and interesting.
Once again excavate the soil to the required level and place your flagstones equal distance apart. Try planting herbs or small flowers in the spaces between each flag stone. If you place a weed free membrane beneath the stones you will prevent any problems with weeds for the future.
It is best to use a membrane under gravel as the sun will penetrate to the ground below giving the weeds a fighting chance. Use a decorative edging to keep the gravel where it should be.
Gravel comes in many different types of stone from granite to marble and from small pebbles to larger cobble type stones. Also it can be in many different colours.
Gravel comes in two types, machine crushed and natural. The machine crushed types will have harder edges and be difficult to walk on. Natural gravel comes from river beds and have rounded edges. It is perfect for walkways as it is softer underfoot.
Slate chippings can also be used in gardens pathways. The grey/black finish, which turns glossy when wet is perfect for adding some drama to any garden.
Often used in children's play-parks, bark is perfect for creating a softer and more natural finish to any pathway. Very soft underfoot, it will tend to become soggy when wet. But it looks more like the floor of a wood and therefore is great for keeping a garden in its natural state. After a few months the chippings will need to be topped up as they do decompose over time. It should be placed on the path to a depth of 3-5cm.
Creating the perfect pathway is certainly more than just laying some paving slabs. The opportunities for adding colour and depth to your garden are endless. Try to avoid too many straight lines and keep it interesting and creative. Embrace colour and your garden will thank you.