Walkways in your landscape serve a variety of purposes. Visitors follow a path from the street to your front door, from your patio to a focal point at the back of your property. Perhaps you just want to add a calculated design element to your yard. You can execute pathway ideas yourself instead of hiring a contractor. Know the homeowner’s skill level; there is a walkway easy enough for anyone to build.
With a few rolls of cedar shakes and wood mulch, you can build an easy garden path in a few hours. Cut purchased 18-inch cedar shakes in half, and hammer them into the ground to layout your walkway's edge. Laying a landscape barrier at the base of the path will inhibit the growth of weeds and grass in the path itself. Pour a 2- to 3-inch layer of wood chips, wood mulch, crushed stone or crushed shell to fill your walkway.
A stepping stone path is a versatile way to craft a pathway that is easy and suits your personal style. Broken concrete from a neighborhood home that is breaking out an old driveway is a natural walkway treatment when set flush with your yard's surface. These stone pieces will weather to a soft patina that is pleasing to the eye. Large pavers can be purchased from your local home improvement center and spaced for a walker’s alternating steps. Marble, ceramic tile or pairs of brick from a leftover home improvement project can be used to lay out a garden walkway.
For walking paths in your landscape that only need a level walking surface on occasion, purchase a roll of prefabricated walkway. These rolled-up walks are available in cedar, pressure-treated southern pine, teak, composite decking materials, galvanized steel and more. Often held together by flexible plastic backing, these walkways roll out over mulch, sand, mud, grass and other materials that make walking difficult. Curved section pieces are available to custom design your walkway’s position. A roll-out walkway is ideal for a temporary, attractive and safe walking surface.
Instead of having to wire your walkway lighting, purchase and install solar or candle light fixtures. Solar-powered lights must receive some direct sunlight each day for all-night operation. Many staked light fixtures are available that incorporate candlelight in their design. Fully-enclosed candle holders are necessary for fire safety. Try a row of short tiki torches to provide dramatic lighting and to repel bugs. Hang miniature hanging candle lanterns from short shepherd-type hooks set evenly on one or both sides of your walkway.
- "One-Day Backyard Projects"; Reader's Digest Association; 2011
- Fine Gardening: Create a Pebble Mosaic
- "Patios and Walkways"; Peter Jeswald; 2010