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Creating A Garden Path

Updated on August 21, 2015

The perfect garden means everything to you. But, nothing makes a beautiful stroll through your garden unpleasant as the mud staining your pants as you stroll. Although many gardens will have paths that people generally walk on, having a standard path can be made much more beautiful with the addition of an inlaid path perhaps of stone or other materials. When you put in a professional looking path, you may allow your garden to take on a new look and feel to it. In many ways, the right path offers many benefits including a nice place to walk and definitely the character that every garden deserves.

Creating a Stone Garden Path

One way that you can create the path that will run through your garden or yard area is through the use of stone. Do not worry, though, the process can be very simple. Most home improvement stores offer a variety of different pre made stone products perfect for the pathway through your garden. These can be fitted together to make unique designs or used singly to create a stepping stone pathway. If you wish to construct this type of path, make sure you consider these tips.

  • Start with a level area. Dig out and level off the area in which the path will be. Get your level out and check it. You will appreciate this extra step! You can and should consider using sand to level it out so that it can handle the pressure placed upon it later. Sand also allows for the stones to slip enough so that they avoid breaking under uneven weight or pressure.

  • Select stones that offer a pattern or not. This is up to you. Visit your local home improvement store or garden center to check out some of the examples. You will find a range of great colors to choose from, too. Once you have the stones purchased and at your home, create the path. Lay each of the stones individually, paying close attention to the spacing between them. You want them to lay evenly but no two stones are the same size.

  • Place the stones so that they fit to create your pathway. If you have elected small stones that will intermix together, take the time to get the entire path laid and then come back to secure it. This will help to make the path easily changed if necessary. Once you have the path the way you would like it, fill in the gaps with sand, dirt, pebbles or other materials that you feel will work in the area. This creates an even walking surface that looks great, too.

Creating a stone path is only one option that you have. The stepping stone look can be a fun way to entice people to walk through your garden. It can take some care especially if you allow grass to grow in between the stones. Or, perhaps you would like to consider another solution

The Softer Side of Garden Paths

Stones are a great choice, but they are often the thing you do not want there if you have children that could skin their knees or you want easy maintenance. There are a world of other choices to take into consideration, though. Consider a pathway that is made from plants. Yes, these are plants designed to work well even with your feet on top of them.

Most often, these are perennials (that come back year after year for you) that creep around the surface that you place them on. When stepped on, they are soft and good for pets and people alike. They come in a wide variety of styles, colors and looks. The one thing they have in common is the fact that they will easily bounce right back for your step, creating a beautiful path that is truly alive!

Great choices for this type of pathway are stonecrop, creeping wire vine, and blue star creeper. Or, consider using miniature rush. This plant looks a lot like grass but is does not become easily destroyed through heavy traffic. But, consider these things before you head out to purchase any plants for your pathway.

  • The location of the path is the key. If they will be in full sun, you need plants that are able to easily grow in this area. Stonecrop is a good choice. For those that will place the path in an area that is heavily wet, then consider viola for the planting.

  • You may also want to consider how much traffic is located in the area. To know, look at the leaves of the plant. Those that are very delicate looking are not going to hold up under heavy traffic.

  • Consider the amount of care that you will give to the plants, too. Some plants need more attention than others. Determine which level of planting you are most comfortable with!

Once it comes time to put these plants in place, start with a good quality plant. Because they will be planted to be walked on, you want them to have the best possible start possible. Purchase from a grower that you know and trust. You can lay down stone as described earlier and then use these plants to creep in between the path. Or, create an entire pathway that is of the plants themselves. In either case, you want to choose your location and begin planting!

For those placing plants in and around stone, be sure to get into the locations carefully. You want them to overlap the edges of the stone so that the look of the stone is softened. You also want the area to cover itself. Do not fill it with too many plants. Depending on the type of plant that you purchase, they will creep in and over the stone, filling in the dirt nicely on its own. Overcrowding will create a mess and limited growth potential for the plants.

Caring for these plants is important. It starts when you put them into the ground. Be sure that you give the plants a good start in quality soil and by loosening the roots before placing them into the hole. You want them to lay even with the soil surrounding them. Also, as your plants grow and expand, take a pair of scissors to them as necessary. You may need to trim back in several areas so that you can still see and use the stone, or to keep them only on the path rather than throughout your yard. Provide them with the right amount of fertilizer when needed, according to the guidelines provided for each type of plant.

With these simple tips you can create a great looking garden path that is soft to walk on and a delight to have in your garden landscape.

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    • chuckandus6 profile image

      Nichol marie 6 years ago from The Country-Side

      Love this hub well written great ideas

    • JoanWit3 profile image

      JoanWit3 7 years ago from OR

      Great tips and a nice hub!

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 8 years ago

      I love the stone steps path leading to another view of the garden, I've never had a garden that needed steps so I like the thought of them leading to a new different garden. I once used bark for a garden path thinking it would be an attractive easy option; then over the next two years the birds stole the pieces of bark so I had to replace it.