Paths in the garden can have practical and aesthetic functions. On the one hand, they are easy to move around, but at the same time they perfectly organize the garden space, sometimes even changing its proportions and simply decorating it. Let’s check how to set paths and what materials to use.
Why do you need paths in the garden?
Roads and paths have always been one of the most important elements in garden designs. This has not changed until today, and proper layout and selection of material is important in the context of the final form. First of all, paths mark the directions of movement in the garden space and make us avoid trampling on plants. At the same time, we do not stumble on protruding roots or stones hidden in vegetation, and we do not slide on the mud. The practical applications of paths are certainly extremely important, but it is also worth emphasizing their role in creating aesthetics, style and form of the garden. Plant compositions are concentrated along them, so you can’t rely on chance when marking out paths in the garden. Incompetently designed paths introduce chaos and instead of decorating the garden space, they lower its aesthetic value. Not only the shape and size are important, but also the material. When setting them, you should be guided by a kind of moderation and arrangement sense is useful. Paths can be straight, they can have geometric forms, very harmonious course or quite fancy lines. However, you should always remember about their functionality and do not succumb to too much fantasy, not to overdo it. It is easy to bring about completely useless garden elements. What’s more, poorly selected material can result in distorted garden proportions. Contrary to appearances, you do not need high financial outlays for the paths in the garden to look good. It is important that they match the style of the surroundings and are properly arranged. Their shape depends on the purpose and function. Therefore, we have entrance routes, but also those leading to vegetable and flower beds or a place of rest, or those that lead through the entire width and length of the garden.
Planning paths in the garden
Paving the paths should start with careful preparation of the plan. The layout of the routes in the garden must take into account not only the needs of the household members, but also local conditions. Too little will limit their functionality, but you can not overdo it. It must be remembered that the more paths, the less grassy ground. Size It is very important that the size of the paths is well matched to the garden surface. If the garden has less than 10 ares, then both the number and width of the routes must not be too large. Universal calculations help – when navigating two people’s paths, you need a larger width, but with one person, the width of the paths can be twice as small.
In regular and symmetrical gardens, including minimalist gardens, straight paths look nice. You can let your imagination run free in naturalistic or rustic gardens. Sharp changes in direction should be avoided, but gentle arches and variable width will look really good. Importantly, the right shape of the paths can fool your eyes a bit. If the plot is too long, lateral and narrow path lining will visually shorten it. Similarly, the longitudinal rows immediately lead your eyes deep into the garden. Straight lines not only lengthen the garden, but also dynamize the space very much. In turn, circular and arched patterns optically shorten the space and introduce a slightly melancholic atmosphere. Optical magnification can also be obtained by using rounded edges and reflective materials for lining paths. Especially in the darker recesses of the garden, it is worth applying such a procedure. Patterns are also important. Delicate and bright always give the effect of visual enlargement as opposed to large ones. In small gardens, it is worth using larger patterns on paths, which will visually bring the boundaries closer and thanks to this the space will become smaller. That’s not all, because even the colors are important. Strong yellow or red shortens the distance, while cool colors give the garden compositions spaciousness. In a small garden, therefore, a path in soft colors will look better, especially on its edge. Impressive paths nowhere that disappear behind a tree or a few steps leading up are fantastic. On plots with the appearance of long and narrow rectangles, it is worth leading the path diagonally, which will cut the rear border from the field of view. The illusion of a wider garden can be strengthened by laying such a path with ever smaller elements or by gradually narrowing it.
Garden paths – using right materials
Wooden path in the garden. Such paths will work especially in gardens near wooden houses and naturalistic gardens, but you can also experiment with other styles. Elements for making a wooden path can be purchased in garden stores or purchased wood in forestry and prepare them yourself. You can choose from wooden blocks, as well as pavement, which is made of specially cut logs and wooden platforms. It is worth remembering that wood should be impregnated before laying, although it is usually factory impregnated. Wooden pavement should be laid on a layer of compacted sand about 2 inches thick. Under it should be a layer of coarse sand or gravel. Finally, the spaces between the individual elements should be filled with fine sand.
In turn, wooden platforms should be placed on square beams, which are laid on a layer of sand about 2 inches thick.
Stone for garden paths. Stone is a very popular material used for laying paths. A path made of field stone will work, for example, in a naturalistic garden. The big advantage of this solution is low costs. A field stone with a bit of luck can be searched in the fields or bought from someone at a very attractive price. Before laying such a path, you need to thoroughly prepare the ground. At the bottom of the trench pour a layer of thick sand, which should be well compacted. Then you need to prepare a mixture of sand and cement on which you can already lay stones.
Demolition brick path. An interesting idea for an original and very atmospheric garden path is to use demolition bricks. This is a cheap and original solution that allows you to get an interesting effect. The brick path can be laid in a herringbone or overlap. To make a brick path, you need to prepare a coarse sand base and ballast, which can be made of sand of suitable thickness or gravel. On this it is necessary to lay the brick as desired.
Gravel path on the plot. Gravel is a popular material for making garden paths. The edges of such a path should be secured, for example, using curbs. The substrate should be previously hardened, compacted and covered with agrotextile. It’s best to use crushed stone for this purpose. The next layer will be a mixture of gravel and sand. Finally, apply a layer of gravel.