Creating paths in your garden

Garden paths create coziness and convenience when moving around the garden and decorate it

Walking paths Is an integral part of any garden. Paths are also necessary for the convenient care of flower beds and fruit and berry plants.

Paths and paths are designed to be practical and comfortable, they fulfill emotional and aesthetic functions in the garden landscape. Attractive trails lead comfortably from point A to point B, keeping your feet clean and dry. Even before the creation of the path, a type of it is chosen that will provide the owners with a pleasant and comfortable walk to their destination.

There are various ways to decorate paths. For example, a small architectural form or a beautiful vase at the far end can serve as a dominant point on a narrow or wide path. Walking along the path, the owner or guest of the garden will definitely slow down to admire the flowers or ornamental plants that surround the path.

Walking on stone slabs requires more attention and care, sometimes even supports are created on it. Paths are sometimes used to create certain visual effects in the landscape. A straight, narrow path that runs to the end of a short garden may seem longer than it really is. Also, the paths that run diagonally across the garden, through a narrow, cramped area, makes it visually wider. Curved paths between the beds and hidden around corners help you feel the space. They visually enhance the composition of the landscape. Like hedges and special wooden structures, paths increase the attractiveness of the design and also help to clean up the landscape.

Types of path surfaces

Spectacular paths create a certain feeling when walking along them.

Gravel makes a pleasant crunchy sound when walking on it. They cover the paths in the wet part of the site in both formal and informal gardens. This keeps your feet dry.

Stone slabs from different breeds and shapes create a beautiful shine, especially if they are wet.

Brick path helps to create a certain mood while walking. Delicate, irregularly growing flowers at the edges and light brickwork give the path an informal look.

Wooden pathswinding around the swampy areas, facilitate access to the border square. Wood chips from bark and wood or pine needles on a path in a wooded garden - create complete harmony with the surroundings.

Paving paths

The choice of the type of paving is also very important. It is recommended to change the material of the paving when moving from one sector of the landscape to another. This variety of material helps to give a new tone to the area and lift the mood. The change in coverage is accompanied by the sensation of other sounds underfoot. Most often, the change in the texture of coatings is made at the intersection of paths.

Most of the beautiful paths are made from a mixture of materials, from a combination of concrete pavement, old bricks laid out in a pattern or in a geometric shape. Combinations of pieces of stone (processed or crushed) and concrete slabs are used. A path made of crushed stone or gravel and concrete slabs through a tunnel of green plants is a sight to behold.

Cost of work and quality

A path lined with stone, concrete slabs and bricks requires a substantial investment. While a variety of materials are readily available at many garden centers, take a good look at which material is best for your garden. Don't go for light and cheap ones. Visually, the color and texture of the paving material should match your home and garden.

The work associated with paving spectacular pathways in garden design adds value. But filling them with gravel or small stones, plants in cracks among stones, or creating a ground cover soil carpet of creeping thyme, armeria, fragrant alissum or sedum decorate them with extraordinary beauty.

Path functionality

So, you have decided on the materials for the paving, taking into account the practical functionality of the path. Be aware that some materials, such as wood and certain types of stones, become slippery, unreliable when wet, creating a potential risk of falls and bruises. Paths like these are not suitable for façade paths.

Gravel paths remain in good condition for a long time, if their edges are limited by any bumpers in order to prevent the gravel from slipping, washing it off the slope. This creates problems for the owners and spoils the neighboring plantations. The gravel path, limited at the sides, helps to enhance its decorative effect. Bumpers restrict gravel from rolling towards plants on both sides of the path. If there is a need to keep the path clean from snow in winter, then you need to choose a solid surface of the paths so that they can be cleaned with a shovel, sweep with a broom, without violating the integrity of the paving material.

Paths are highly prized when they are well maintained and clean after rain. Even on the wet grass of the lawn it is unpleasant to walk. Therefore, the path on the lawn is paved with stones or bricks so as not to spoil the grass and not get your feet wet when driving.

Free-lying bricks, flat and smooth surface provide reliable and safe walking and working with sharp tools. Paths with a slight incline are usually dry or dry quickly after rain, water does not form puddles. If the soil remains wet for a long time, then drainage pipes are laid under the paths to drain the water.

It is necessary to take into account in advance whether the path will be used when performing any work. If you intend to use the path for the passage of a wheelbarrow and a garden cart, then it should be wide enough and comfortable: 70 cm is the minimum width of the path, and a path of one meter is even better. The minimum width of the path, which will allow two people walking side by side, to walk freely, is 1.5 m.

Garden paths are planned not only for the purpose of improving the design, but also for the rational use of the area of ​​the site. A person is always determined to shorten his path between two points, and for this he often seeks to cut corners. In an informal garden, the paths are usually winding to suit your taste and needs.

The most rational are paths with a design that is convenient for use. They must provide free access to the surrounding plantings. After all, when walking along them, the earth is compacted there. The maintenance of the paths does not require imagination. They should not be littered or planted with many plants so that they successfully fulfill their main purpose - to approach flower beds, a house, a bench, or provide an overview of the environment. The paths should be laid according to your wishes and needs.

Low-growing plants with a dull color and fragrant flowers are planted near paths and paths. Tall plants and plants with a bright color scheme benefit from planting at some distance from the paths.

To decorate paths and paths, dwarf fruit trees, standard berry bushes, coniferous and flowering shrubs can be used. Floral and decorative garlands, pyramids and columns serve as a wonderful decoration of the paths.

Garden path material

The strength of the material determines the nature of the paths. Shredded wood bark is most suitable for wooded gardens. Slab stones are the most structural, but give the landscape an urban style. Roof tiles and shells are used effectively mainly in the south.

In the conditions of the Leningrad region, the following coatings are most widely used for paving paths:

  • Collection of stones
  • Turf
  • Bark (chips or pieces)
  • Gravel
  • Brick or brick debris
  • Wooden blocks
  • Ceramic roof tiles or tiles
  • Marble
  • Crushed stones
  • Pebble or cobblestone
  • Concrete blocks
  • Pine waste
  • Field stones
  • Artificial stones
  • Stone slabs
  • Burnt clay
  • Granite blocks

Contouring paths

The contours of paths and paths are like the frame of paintings - they draw attention to the center and form a single whole with it. Fencing also serves a practical purpose, protecting the soil, gravel or other material within the boundaries, as well as from contamination of the surrounding plants. They are an integral part of a properly designed path, giving it a complete look in the garden. The border of the path is also used in garden design. It allows you to connect surfaces with different paving and contours from a different material. For example, brick and wood.

Border selection

If you want to make a border of a path from plants, choose plants of a natural compact form or those that respond well to a haircut. Boxwood, cypress grass, and others are excellent plants for formal hedge contouring. To soften the appearance, choose low, ground cover plants, such as aubrieta, cuff, low hosts, irises, low lilies, dwarf roses.

Structural bricks, wood, plastic, clay tiles, lattices, tiles, patterned braids, metal plates are used as a contour.

An important role in ensuring the overall harmony of floral design is played by the color of the sand on the paths. A darker color of sand is better. The path on the path should be beautiful and reliable. The border setting technique begins by removing soil along the path. Before laying the paving material, place a border along the path 1-3 cm above the surface of the lawn adjacent to the path.

Wooden border. Dig a trench along the path of the path deep enough. The border is set so that it rises 2–3 cm above the ground. Stakes 30–40 cm high are driven into the ground every 90–100 cm to fix the boards in place. To increase the strength, the stakes with the boards are fastened with screws.

Curved wood border. It is made from a large number of sawn pieces of board 18-20 cm long and 2 cm thick. The total length of the segments should be equal to the length of the curved border line. Dig a trench in the same way as described above. Stakes are driven into a depth of about 30 cm along the bend of the path. For the strength of the installation, the stakes are fastened to the wooden border with screws. With a slight bend, the tree does not need to be cut. Soak the board in water for a few days. The board becomes flexible and can then be laid damp and secured to the stakes.

Stone border. To create a vertical stone fence, dig a 5 cm deep trench with a horizontal bottom. Pour 5 cm of sand on the bottom of the trench. Install a tightly vertical fence made of stone of any shape. The top of the stones is leveled by tapping on top and burying them in the sand. Then the paving material is laid on the path.

Landscape steps

Changing the surface of the garden gives it its originality. Another way to highlight the peculiarity of garden design is the way the steps are laid, their type and number. The aesthetics of the garden design as a whole depends on the degree of slope. It is clear that the steps in the garden are different from the steps inside the house. With a slight slope, comfortable steps are arranged with a height of about 30 cm with platforms every 10-12 steps. The comfort steps are designed for stress-free walking while climbing. People tend to accelerate their stride when they are slightly ascending. The steps change, become slower as you descend. If possible, the steps are made wider. For two people walking side by side, the smallest step width should be 1.5 m.

An important factor in the choice of design and material for garden steps is the owner's budget, as well as his idea of ​​the appearance of the structure after the completion of work. The steps around the house should be consistent with the architecture and style of the garden. Farther from home, especially if the garden becomes more informal, you can opt for less expensive material. Regardless of the style of the stairs, it is always necessary to think about ensuring the safety of the people who will use them and that they fulfill their assigned role.

The basic rule is that the steps should be as wide as the paths on which they are located. Steps that are uneven on the rise, different in height and depth, are very dangerous. When the path is steeply ascending, handrails are installed. Safe and comfortable steps with a slight, slight slope so that rainwater does not accumulate on them, and there is a drain. It is possible to make the horizontal surfaces of the steps from a non-slip material. The steps should be firm, dry and dry quickly after rain.

Tamara Barkhatova

Decorative garden items

Not a single site is complete without a fence. A fence on a noble estate is made of logs about one and a half meters high. Such a fence does not infringe on the feeling of free space and does not provoke the appearance of a feeling of isolation. Despite its simple appearance, it can serve as an excellent background for ornamental plants. Alternatively, such a fence can be made in the form of a stockade. The main thing is that it must harmoniously fit into the overall picture of the garden.

Garden paths are lined with gravel, decorative tree bark or sand. They are made sinuous, avoiding straight lines and clear boundaries. The edges of the paths are lined with low-growing flowers or herbs to create a pleasant scent while walking.

The lawn is located behind the house. Salt trees or shrubs are planted on its territory. The cover itself is formed from perennial ground cover grasses. So that the lawn does not dissolve against the general background, it is decorated with bright colors and made in the form of small islands.

The first Russian estates had a pavilion for relaxation, now they have been transformed into simple arbors made of wood. They can be Greek or with oriental elements. They are built under the crown of trees or wide shrubs. For decoration, climbing plants are planted under them, such as: bindweed, hops or maiden grapes, which in a short time entangle the entire territory of the structure, creating a dense decorative vertical carpet. Wooden or wicker furniture is placed inside the gazebos.

For children in the garden make "fun" - an area with swings, slides, sandpit, garden figures of fairy-tale characters, children's benches or wooden decorative houses. This area is separated by flower beds or flower beds.

A pond where you can grow fish is considered to be a must on the territory of a noble estate. It is decorated with hosts, annual flowers, wild rosemary or euonymus. The banks are strengthened with geogrids and decorated with a roll lawn and weeping willow or birch are planted.

Many lanterns and lamps are placed in the garden in such a way that their light illuminates the paths and individual objects that you want to highlight. Lanterns are selected "antique".

In addition, in a garden of this style, you can see many other items that complement and decorate it:

  • Columns
  • Statues
  • Raised flower beds
  • Casting benches
  • Birdhouses
  • Drinking bowls for birds

Territory planning

The traditional noble estate was planned from the central object - the house. Paths, alleys and paths were laid from it throughout the territory. A road led to the main entrance through the park, along which fountains, flower beds and architectural sculptures were placed.Now, when forming a garden in this style, the site is divided into two parts - front and landscape and the corresponding zones:

  • Front garden. It is the face of the garden and should be ideally combined with the overall panorama of the landscape. The front garden can be either open or closed. Plants are planted in it in such a way as to achieve continuous long flowering. You should not plant many varieties of flowers, a few bright long-flowering specimens are enough. Crocuses, peonies, lilies, asters, phloxes and chrysanthemums are planted to achieve continuous flowering. This will give you a blooming front garden from spring to autumn.
  • Rest zone... This area involves the placement of a barbecue, benches and gazebos on it. If the size allows, they make a playground, hang a hammock or a swing. The seating area is decorated with decorative arches with flowering vines, pots with plants are placed in the gazebo or wrapped in climbing plants. Since this part of the garden does not carry any style information, it is decorated simply, without sophistication.
  • House... He is the centerpiece of the garden. A two-storey massive house made of rounded logs and a high plinth is ideal. Such a house will create the flavor of the boyar's house and successfully emphasize the concept of style. It can also be a brick or stone house.
  • Garden.The site for planting cultivated plants should not be large in size. All vegetables and herbs typical of our region are grown on it. The vegetable garden is closed from viewing with a hedge or a low fence. In the noble estate, in addition to the vegetable garden, there was also a pharmaceutical garden, where medicinal herbs and bushes with berries were grown. For example, such as: mint, lemon balm, calendula, oregano, elecampane, sage, cyanosis, comfrey, juniper, lavender, medicinal comfrey, chamomile, St. John's wort, calendula and others.
  • Outbuildings.These include a cellar, a bathhouse, a barn and a well. As a rule, they are decorated with plants. The walls of the barn can be covered with vines or ivy. The road to the bathhouse and the area around it are decorated with fragrant herbs, benches and tables are set up, dwarf conifers such as yew, juniper or fir are planted. You should adhere to the general style of the garden and carry out outbuildings from the same material as the house.


In some regions, the ostrich is better known as the common ostrich (Matteuccia struthiopteris). It occurs naturally in the European part of Russia, the Caucasus, Siberia and the Far East. Highly decorative fern, popular in culture, suitable for both group and single plantings. The length of the leaf, depending on the growing conditions, ranges from 30cm to 1m, the width is from 5 to 20cm. Leaves in the spring (in May) can be damaged by recurrent frosts, in the fall they die off with the first severe cold snaps.

Ostrich (Matteuccia struthiopteris)

The plant is cold and winter-hardy, undemanding, grows well both in shaded and sunny areas - both on poor and rich soils. The ground should be moist and moist. Under the influence of direct sunlight, the plant becomes stunted (up to 80 cm), and the leaves acquire a pale green color, so it is better to grow the ostrich in a light shade.

Forms thickets, quickly spreads by underground shoots (sometimes reaching 30-50 cm). In plantings, it is combined with other large perennial plants or with rare plantings of shrubs. On the same plot with the ostrich, a significant number of different types of early spring small-bulbous plants can be grown, such as corydalis, saffron, snowdrops, snowmen, mouse hyacinth, white flower, etc., since the opened fern leaves hide their vegetated foliage and protect their nodules or bulbs in soil, from excess moisture. The ostrich is irreplaceable both when decorating the banks of reservoirs, and on wet peaty soils. And what is more interesting - this type of fern can be eaten. Young shoots ("rakhis"), which are still in the "snail" stage, are edible. Overgrown shoots cannot be used for food - over time, plants accumulate substances that have a toxic effect on the human body. "Snails" in boiled, salted or pickled form are used in the national cuisines of Japan, China, Canada and Kamchadals in Russia.

The main thing that determines the appearance, durability, and convenience of the future track is its material.

A natural stone

The only serious drawback of natural stone is its price. Sometimes the disadvantages include a lot of weight: it can be difficult to mount it alone. Otherwise, stone is an ideal material for a walkway. Judge for yourself:

  • durable and strong
  • looks nice
  • eco-friendly and won't damage the flowers in your garden
  • will fit into any garden style - from Japanese to minimalism.

On the market, you can find many types of stones that differ in appearance. In addition, the stones differ from each other and in price. For example, sandstone and limestone can be purchased relatively cheaply, but marble and granite are very expensive materials.

Paving slabs

Tile is a very easy-to-install material from which you can make paths in the garden. The result is neat paths. The tile is lighter and cheaper than stone, it is resistant to temperature extremes and moisture, and can easily withstand high loads. The only problem with tiles is their non-universal look Despite the abundance of shapes and sizes, the tile track will not fit such "natural" styles of landscape design as Japanese, Chinese and Alpine gardens.

For some gardeners, paving slabs evoke associations with municipal institutions, where most of the footpaths are paved with tiles. But the choice of tile shapes and colors is wide enough for you to make something to your taste. On sale there are not only simple rectangular tiles, but also relief, unusual shapes.

Paving stones are the same tiles, but thicker. It is worth buying it only if you are counting on increased loads that ordinary tiles cannot cope with.


Concrete is a very cheap and versatile material to use, but it will require skill and experience from the paver. Do not work with concrete yourself if you are not confident in your abilities - better hire a professional.

A monolithic path can be made of concrete, just a prepared moat by the bay. But most gardeners, for aesthetic purposes, cast tiles of non-standard sizes and shapes from concrete. Plain concrete walkways will look great in a minimalist garden. Other ideas for paths in a concrete garden include the use of special shapes that immediately make the path embossed. They look like fancy nets and are relatively inexpensive.

Concrete, like both previous materials, is resistant to various damage and is not afraid of dampness. By itself, it is not very beautiful and rather simple, but it can be decorated at the stage of hardening - add pebbles or sand, glass, ceramic tiles ... Such techniques give a very interesting effect.

The main disadvantage of concrete is instability to temperature extremes. Because of them, the coating can crack (you have seen this more than once on city sidewalks). This is mostly true for monolithic concrete walkways, not concrete slabs.

There are many concrete placement techniques that have an interesting visual effect. For example, in the photo below you can see Canadian "wet concrete".


Wood looks impressive, is cheap (compared to stone) and environmentally friendly. If you strive to arrange paths in the garden as naturally as possible, then the tree will come in handy. Another nice bonus is that the tree practically does not freeze, and therefore, even after a frosty night, the risk of slipping in your own garden is minimal.

Wood also has disadvantages:

  • Fragility. If a tiled or stone path can last for several decades, it is better to replace the tree after 8-10 years.
  • Low moisture resistance. The tree absorbs water, thanks to which frost does not form on it, but this property is due to the appearance of fungus and mold.
  • Service. Stone and concrete paths do not need maintenance, but the tree needs to be treated regularly with antiseptics to prolong its life.

Of all types of wood for paths, larch and oak are most often chosen - they are the most durable and durable.

Decide whether you need hard or soft paving. You should not save on material and adherence to the correct installation technology.

Everything should be done with high quality, because properly executed coatings will serve you for many years, while the cost of repairing "wrong" coatings will be extremely high.

All paths on the site are arranged in accordance with a scaled "design project". The marking of the paving on the terrain is carried out using pegs and a rope. For "hard" paving, three main technologies are used for arranging paths in the garden: on a cement screed, "on sand" and on a metal frame, if these are wooden paths. Of course, the choice of any of these three methods is not arbitrary, for this there are building codes - depending on what conditions exist on your site, and on what surface a particular path passes.

Watch the video: Making a Garden Path? Forget Pebbles!

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