What’s in a walkway? A walkway can help you keep people on the right track, avoiding allowing them to step on grass or other tender garden areas, keeping traffic over fragile plants to a minimum. Walkways come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s no “right” way to make a walkway. Some of the best ideas for walkways we’ve seen have been unique uses of materials, shapes, colors, and placement. A walkway can also help dress up the look of the front of your home, inviting guests and visitors to your front door.
Walkway Placement Tips
If you don’t have a walkway yet, you may be wondering how you should place your walkway. While the idea of a walkway zig-zagging and meandering up to your front door may seem cute and whimsical, in reality you won’t want to walk in a serpentine fashion every single day. Pay attention to where you walk when you walk up to your front door. You’ll want to use the path that is used most often, so if you take a detour through the bushes instead of around them, lay your path through the bushes. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches in the future!
One of the simplest and most effective walkways can be achieved with pea gravel or mulch. You can simply dump some material where you want it and spread it out, however gravel/mulch walkways work better if they’re dug slightly into the ground to keep the loose materials in place. Loose material walkways are a perfect budget walkway, but keep in mind that since the material is loose, you will likely be tracking it into your house on occasion. Some people even install garden edges to keep their gravel or mulch in place.
You may also struggle with fighting weeds coming up between the material from year to year, so placing a weed blocking fabric before pouring your material might be a good preparation idea.
A mulch walkway is a great rustic feel for meandering through a garden or forest path.
Wooden walkways, or even railroad tie walkways, are another great and easy way to place a walkway. Many people will simply place lengths of wood down on the ground and allow the grass to grow around it, securing it in place. You may opt to dig them into the ground a little bit to immediately be secured. Some people even pad those wood slabs with gravel or mulch to dress it up a bit.
A pro for a wooden walkway is it can be cheap and often done with leftover building material. A con, however, is wood can warp over time, making slats stick up. Wood also decomposes in the ground and may get soggy or possibly invite termites to eat away at it, so make sure you select your wood carefully.
A brick walkway is an awesome addition to any rustic-looking home. Go for a simple pattern, or use a lot of bricks and do a complex one. As with any stone laying, you will want to ensure you are working on a properly prepped and level surface so your stones don’t sink into the ground and cause a trip hazard. Add mortar between the stones or just leave dirt where grass, moss, and other natural bits can grow for a rustic feel.
Stone Pattern Walkways
The way you can pattern stones is almost endless. Stone walkways are great because they usually hold up very well to weather, wear, tear, and constantly being walked over. A stone pattern walkway can be difficult to achieve on your own, so you might do best to consult with a professional hardscaper to ensure your walkway lasts for as long as possible.
Slate & Slab Walkways
Using a sparing amount of slate or slab blocks, spacing them out, and letting the earth grow between them is an awesome way to get a walkway. You may want to dig out some of the grass beneath to ensure maximum lack of movement while the grass and other natural bits get used to the stones being there. Use geometric stones, such as squares or rectangles, to get an architectural look and feel.
There’s no wrong way to make a beautiful exterior or garden walkway! Many people mix mulch, slabs, stones, gravel, and more to get a glamorous walkway fitting to their home and garden.
What kind of walkway do you have or like the most? Let us know in the comments below!