There are two types of perks you can get from garden pathways: decorative and functional. Pathways give walking direction in a large garden, and create a focal point.
You may imagine neat, beautiful pathways as an expensive project. However, there are many cheaper alternatives that still give you stunning garden look.
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How to Make Garden Pathways with Limited Budget
There are various options to create pathways without spending too much (or calling professional workers). One of the most popular ideas among low-budget garden owners is “informal paths”, which is a simple pathway that is made of cheap materials, such as mulch, tree barks, and even wood chips.
All you need to do is creating the path by lining it and removing the impediments. You also need to create edges, using materials such as rocks or bricks.
You may need to redo the pathway every few years, but the result is quite good compared to its budget.
Stepping Stone Garden Pathways
Do you envy someone’s beautiful garden with elegant stone pathways? Now you can easily make your own.
Despite looking neat and expensive compared to mulch or wood chip, stone garden pathways are actually easy to make. As long as you can get stepping stones (usually limestone), all you need to do is a little digging.
First, you need to measure the length of the pathway, and then determine the route you want to make. To place the stones, dig the sod to place each stone until the surface is leveled with the ground.
If you have a limited budget, place individual stones in a line, with a certain distance between stones that a normal step can cover.
If you want “greener” look, try planting ground cover plants between the stones. Some of the best plants for this purpose are Brass Buttons, Sedum, and Creeping Thyme.
Wood Garden Pathways
Wood garden pathways are cheaper alternatives than concrete, and you can create a more natural look with wooden planks.
Curved pathways made of planks create unique look between the greens, but if you want to create distinctive lines, create an intersection with diagonally-placed planks.
There are two ways of creating wood pathways: the floating/bridge-like type (with deck) and the one that stays on the ground. Make sure you consider the garden size to determine the best style.
Japanese Garden Pathways
Japanese garden designers know the concept of so, gyo, and shin in creating pathways. So is the one that looks the most rustic, with inexpensive materials such as gravels.
Gyo is the medium one, usually made of rustic stepping stones that are placed more carefully. Finally, shin is the most sophisticated design, usually, incorporates neatly-cut stones and careful arrangements.
Based on these concepts, there is a unique style called nobedan. In this style, you combine the gyo or shin and the so, creating contrast. For example, you may combine rough stepping stones with neatly-cut stones.
Modern Garden Pathways
Finally, if you prefer the more contemporary look, there are several pathway ideas to try. Try having a zigzagging pathway instead of the usual curved or straight one.
Create contrast in color and texture, such as combining dark stones with cream/white concrete paths. You can also create “stairs” with gravel and metal or wooden edges.
These garden pathways will definitely give you new inspirations to make your garden less boring.