How to make a garden path with your own hands

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How to make a garden path with your own hands
The basis of any landscape plan for a personal plot will be paths

Walkway is the most important element of landscape design


Original decorative track

Charming courtyards with numerous secluded nooks, benches under the shade of rose bushes, romantic swings under apple trees conquer with their natural beauty. The arrangement of a garden, like any design project, requires an integrated approach, imagination, and daring experiments. If inside a house or apartment you choose wallpaper, paints, flooring, furniture and decor, then in the garden, wildlife acts as an element of design, which gives great opportunities for the realization of your fantasies.


A path decorated with a border Roman chamomile

In the garden, plants are used as improvised design elements, which are responsible for creating a complex texture of the garden, which changes depending on the season. A permanent element, as if forming the main frame of the garden, are the paths, which give a complete look to the entire garden plot. The walkways have both practical functionality and are intended to create additional pictorial accents, transforming courtyards into real works of art, created in collaboration with nature. The use of various materials for flooring paths allows you to achieve amazing combinations.

For any garden, zoning is characteristic – paths act as dividing elements between the zones, they also play a practical role, organizing access to every corner of the garden. The variety of natural materials suggests ample opportunities for landscape “painting”, where paths, paths, sidewalks are the main element organizing the composition. The paths are designed to connect all functional areas not only practically, but also stylistically. The choice of material for the tracks is practically unlimited, you can use available tools that do not require additional costs. The only minus of the tracks from improvised means is fragility. On the other hand, such paths allow you to constantly update the appearance of the garden at your discretion..

The most historically common method of selecting materials for landscaping is to select local building materials. As a rule, wood is used more in the forest area, natural stone, crushed stone or surface deposits of shale are selected in mountainous areas or near quarries, pebbles are a popular material in coastal areas.

Walkways can also be made of concrete and clinker bricks. If the budget allows, then you can use ready-made tiles or paving stones from natural stone, such paths will certainly be more durable. But the beauty of simple tracks made from scrap materials is precisely that they can be changed and supplemented over time..


An original path from wood and rubble. Straight track sketch

Garden paths, as noted, have a decorative and practical purpose, they can be arranged in straight lines or be winding. The secret of beautiful paths lies in the use of materials of various textures, their skillful combination with plants and in the play of shapes. Experienced designers recommend making tracks by combining several materials. It can be: paving slabs, natural stone, paving stones, pebbles, gravel, wood and much more. It all depends on the choice, preferences and imagination of the owner of the garden.

It is important to note that each track should not only be decorative, but also lead somewhere; for any non-functional decorative track, you can come up with a purpose. At the end of the path, an alpine corner with a bench, a small gazebo where you can sit while relaxing on a fresh vacation, a pond or a fountain can be arranged.


Above: Creative garden lantern from Legrand. Bottom: Lantern to illuminate tracks. Glowing Garden Pots

At night, lighting must be provided for the paths; it not only decorates the site, but also helps safe movement in the dark. Luminaires are often combined with small architectural forms for the garden. In order to make lighting, you need to provide for the possibility of laying electrical wiring. Low-voltage lamps are used to illuminate the paths, which saves energy. Homeowners are more likely to install solar-powered luminaires that help illuminate the garden without putting additional stress on the budget..


Romantic paths made of hemp with steps, natural stone and paving stones

Winding paths are especially popular, however, such paths are quite difficult to lay on your own without having a preliminary plan in hand. Complex paths are typical of Japanese gardens, although they are boldly borrowed for other garden design styles. There are several basic points of the track arrangement that you need to know about before starting work..

Homemade cement tiles or clinker bricks for garden paths. The choice is yours


Track laying scheme

The paths on personal plots differ in functionality, decorativeness and the degree of stress on them. In the part of the garden where the main outbuildings are concentrated, or the family often rests, it is better to use durable materials. These include paving slabs, clinker bricks, natural stone paving stones. Such paving materials are made of high-strength concrete, which will last for several decades. As a rule, the paths are laid on soft soil – sand, with a pre-compacted gravel cushion. Such paths allow water to pass through well during melting snows and rains. If the paths have a continuous waterproof surface and are made of concrete, then a drain of melt and rainwater should be provided next to the path. In addition, over time, any tracks sag, the soft soil base allows you to painlessly correct imperfections.


Left: Home garden, decorated with clinker bricks. Right: Aged paving brick AKA Ziegelgruppe, Germany

Clinker bricks are made from high-grade clay with subsequent firing, which gives strength. It is made with various color fillings. This allows it to be used for tiling paths. To decorate pavements in the old style, many manufacturers offer lines of aged clinker bricks that have chips on individual elements..

Paving stones are a more expensive alternative to clinker bricks, cut from natural stone. The most common is considered to be granite paving stones..

Paving slabs are made of concrete in various colors. For its manufacture, high-strength cement is taken, which ensures the strength of the tile under loads. Such a tile can withstand a multi-ton technique..


Above: Variety of assortment of paving slabs. Bottom: Fan laying of granite paving stones

If heavy equipment does not drive along the path, and the family consists of several people, then we recommend making cement tiles for the path yourself. It is arranged without a hard cushion of rubble and sand. This is a budget way to create beautiful paths on your site without involving workers. A cement track is made using a special form, the cost of which is about 1000 rubles.


Self-laying cement path in the garden. The shape and appearance of the finished track

Despite the moderate load on the walkway, we recommend using high-strength cement grade 400 or 500 when making tiles. This will avoid natural splits in the walkway after several years of use..


Left: The photo shows that over the summer, garden tiles, made by themselves, have become an integral part of the garden.
Right: Tiles are made with little or no soil preparation or with minimal recesses. Soil with grass is considered as a natural fixative. This design is quite reliable. After a while, fresh grass sprouts between the tiles, which not only holds the tiles in place, but also decorates the concrete paving.

A tree path that makes the garden cozy

The paths that are made of wood have a special charm. Thick boards, logs, sawn hemp can be selected as material. The arrangement of such tracks is troublesome, but the result will exceed your expectations..


This track is made of thick board treated with wood stain and varnish. The path is laid on a pre-rammed surface, the distance between the board is covered with rubble. For more durable fixing, the board can be mortared. A path made of wood must be renewed with varnish every year.

Of course, wood paths do not have the same durability as cement paths, but properly and regularly treated with special antiseptics, antifungal materials, varnished or special oil, they can last for several decades, although the guaranteed service life is 3-4 years. The advantages of wooden paths include simple repairs, which are done without the involvement of workers..


A path made of large sawn wood is decorated with pebbles along the edges. The space between the cuts is covered with coarse sand, the cuts are treated with an antiseptic and wood oil.


The winding path is made of small hemp and looks very romantic. Correctly processed wood cuts can serve as paving slabs for a long time. The advantage of such tracks is that they are made from improvised means without additional financial costs..

The main disadvantages of wooden paths include the fact that they become very slippery after rain, especially for wood that has not been treated with chemicals..

Interesting ideas for a path from wild stone and rubble


Alpine slide combined with a natural stone path

As we noted, the tracks can be made from various materials at hand. Natural stone is one of these materials. As a rule, garden paths made of natural stone of any size are very durable, and both large and small stones can be used..

Experienced designers often combine stone with different textures and colors, achieving interesting combinations.


Garden path made of large freeform granite and pebbles. Garden paths with lawn decor

Obviously, there are no generally accepted rules for how garden paths should look like, everything is determined by the owner’s imagination and available materials. Each designer strives to create an original solution, such a non-standard solution is the combination of lawns, flower beds and paths. Natural stone only emphasizes the beauty of a lush green lawn, this is a vivid example when a path becomes an element of garden and park decor.


Gravel path with hemp border. Normal gravel path

Gravel is an interesting material for the design of paths. It is very durable, easy to use. Perhaps this is the most economical way of arranging all kinds of paths, paths and even entrances for cars. So that the gravel path does not lose its shape, it is necessary to make a curb from any available material that makes sense to fix with cement mortar. In order to avoid installing a curb, you can make a gravel path on a certain deepening of the soil, which will serve as a limiter.

Step-by-step instructions for making a brick track

Many amazing compositional solutions used in garden design are made possible by paths. Gone are the days when the path was intended only to connect important functional parts of the garden, now each path is an object where you can express your imagination. The use of various ways of laying paths allows you to create a completely new look of the garden with practically no additional material costs. We want to give an example of laying the simplest brick path.

Usually the path is made on some deepening of the soil so that a good cushion of gravel and sand can be arranged, which will ensure long-term operation. The depth of the trench is up to 30 cm. Be sure to provide for water to drain freely from your path during rains and additionally lay a trench on one side. A wooden frame is installed in place of the curb.
We lay a mixture of gravel and sand to the depth of the trench.
The next step is to compact the gravel tightly..
The sand layer must be well leveled, avoiding voids.
In place of the curb, the brick is laid out with the end and tightly fixed with a rubber mallet.
The rest of the brick path is laid out, the brick is placed at some distance from each other.
Obviously, when planning a path, it is necessary to calculate the width based on the brick pattern..
At the final stage, grouting is done with sand. The wooden frame cannot be removed. Your track is ready.
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