Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Walkways and Garden Paths

Not only are walkways and garden paths convenient, pathways can highlight certain landscape features while diverting attention away from imperfections.

Whether you’re making a convenient path from the driveway to your front door, or encouraging visitors to pause and meander through your garden, here are some handy tips on how to create the perfect walkway within your landscape:

When creating a walkway, make sure you DO:

  • Pick the right materials based on the purpose. If it’s a utilitarian pathway that will be used to carry groceries and pull suitcases, a smooth concrete surface is ideal. If it’s a garden pathway designed to appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature, stepping stones will encourage visitors to slow down.
  • Consider opting for gentle curves rather than straight lines. Curves are good for creating more gradual inclines over gradation changes, creating longer lines within your landscape and highlighting plantings or other features.  
  • Consider how everyone walks through your landscape, including family, friends, service providers and even your pets.   If the new path is not convenient, people (and pets) are likely to take shortcuts.
  • Make sure the design complements the home. The design of the path – including the width, angle and materials – should be in proportion to your home’s features (such as the front entryway) and complement the overall style of your home. For example, an angular concrete pathway may be the best choice for a modern home, while gently sloped, stamped concrete would be preferable for a traditional home.  

…And make sure you DON’T:

  • Consider form over function. In other words, consider how you will use the path before choosing the design and materials to avoid slip and trip hazards when you’re most likely to be carrying items in highly trafficked areas.
  • Make it too narrow. Primary pathways should be a minimum of 48 inches wide for two people to walk side-by-side comfortably. Secondary pathways designed to be used by one person at a time, such as throughout a garden, can be narrower – typically 30 to 36 inches wide.
  • Place walkways flush against a wall or other structure. People like a little elbow room, and a good rule of thumb is to place paths at least an arm’s length away from walls or fences.  
  • Think pathways are limited to the front and back door. By creating paths throughout your landscape, you can create intrigue, convenience and maximize the use of your overall landscape.
  • Forget to landscape around your new path!   Strategically planted annuals and perennials can provide design elements that change with the seasons.    

Are you ready to freshen up the landscape features around your pathways? Our team can help!