Many designers forget about the garden path, doing it last, and thus destroy even the most beautiful landscape. Indeed, for the site, this part of the design is as important as a neat, beautiful frame for a beautiful canvas..
How to choose the right garden path design?
The first and most important thing to get started with is functionality. No matter how beautiful your garden path is, you need to lay it in the shortest and most convenient way, so as not to turn your site into a podium.
Second, but not least, is the material that the designer will work with. If you are not ready to wash the veranda every day, it is better to make the path solid and use stone or concrete blocks.
Remember, that the style of the tracks should not differ from the general design of the site. If a riot of colors and greenery is your style, then the rest of the decor elements should correspond to this image. In the opposite situation, everything is just as simple – the classics in the landscape should be accompanied by a classic path.
Particular attention should be paid to the connection between the path and the fence. According to all design canons, they must be made in the same style and have unifying color or design elements..
If the path is one of the key aspects of the landscape, it is better to make it integral in order to focus the attention of others on it and correctly highlight it among the green spaces. When a track is just one of the parts of a huge mosaic, and it should be beautifully emphasized and complemented, it is better to arrange it in stages.
When it comes to practicality, it is impossible to get around the issues of size. Undoubtedly, the width of the path depends on the size of the site itself, but the general unspoken standard of the main lines is considered to be a distance of approximately 1-1.5 meters, and small decorative paths – no more than half a meter, so that they stand out and do not pile up the situation.
In addition, when paving the way for the future path, it is worth choosing the shortest, fastest routes, perhaps even neglecting the beauty and the original plan. The main, wide lines should first of all be practical and convenient, and narrow paths should enable the owners of the site to easily get into its most hidden corners. Try to avoid sharp corners and sharp turns.
The paths themselves are better placed with a slight slope in both directions, so that water does not stagnate on it. If the path will pass through a flower bed or flower garden, it must be raised a few centimeters above the soil level, so that it always remains clean.
Types of garden paths
All garden paths can be divided into groups of materials: stone, wood, concrete and paths from scrap materials. Almost all materials can be added to this last category, from glass to pebbles or plastic bottle caps..
The most economical and practical material for garden decoration can be safely called concrete. Such paths are resistant to frost, wear-resistant, and can last much longer than any other coating. In addition, concrete slabs can be given any shape and size, creating unique paths for your site. The color of the coating also changes easily, the main thing is to add the right amount of special dyes to the concrete in time.
Concrete will look good in modern or high-tech gardens. A certain severity and coldness inherent in this material goes well with metal and plastic, and such paths are much easier to wash and clean from dirt.
Natural stone paths
Many designers consider this particular type to be the best, both from a practical and aesthetic point of view. In fact, stone surrounded by lawns, flowers, trees and bushes looks much more natural than any other material. The only thing that can repel this coating is the high price and complexity of processing and possible subsequent replacement. When using stone paths, it is best to preserve their color and texture, so as not to turn a beautiful imprint of nature into an artificial dummy. Particularly popular are marble, labradorite, granite, limestone and basalt coatings..
The use of gravel or pebbles is probably the least laborious and cheapest option. Create this kind of track, you need to clearly outline the boundaries and choose the right amount of material. This type of coating is not suitable for every garden, while working with it it is necessary to protect the pebbles from the surrounding dirt, so that during the rain your dream path does not turn into a mess..
Another unique material that is often used when creating tracks is mulch. Mulch looks like coarse sand or very fine pebbles of any color and shade, and is poured into small holes prepared for the tracks. The only kind of this type of track is it «complex» relationship with the surrounding land in rainy weather.
Brick paths are not particularly durable and wear-resistant, require careful maintenance, but in fact they deserve this attention due to their unique, warm colors and relative cheapness (in comparison with other coatings). It is also a pleasure to work with this coating, it is easy to install and dismantle, and it is very simple to wash it..
Tiled paths also belong to this category. They look especially impressive in country style designs. Warm tones with bright splashes create an indescribable atmosphere of home comfort, they can be easily washed from almost any dirt, but the fragility of tiled surfaces very often brings their position on the market.
The atmosphere of wood flooring cannot be surpassed. Paths made of boards, correctly installed and properly treated with moisture-repellent agents, turn the site into an oriental fairy tale, transfer any guest to the wonderful world of Japanese harmony and Chinese discipline. These coatings require constant, painstaking care and are not particularly durable, but if your budget has enough money to regularly replace unusable wood, this coating is for you..
The most unusual and popular type of track in the XXI century is a European innovation, which literally translates as «small steps». Most often, log cuts, large stones or large tiles are used to create them. In addition, tracks made from materials that are difficult to recycle, such as plastic lids or pieces of glass, correctly processed and decorated, are becoming more and more popular..
Steppingstones made of concrete are cast in particular originality. Such paths will allow you to save money without sacrificing creativity, especially if you take on its implementation yourself. To create it, all you need is to order a mold and purchase the cement itself. In addition, if the cold, gray color of this coating is not to your liking, a special paint added to the solution will easily solve this problem..
Mixed garden paths are most often created from the remnants of building materials, less often – as a thoughtful composition for which everything you need is specially bought. This is the most economical of all options, which requires almost no costs and is limited to a minimum of time. Of course, not everyone will appreciate this creative, perhaps comparing it to a mess, but connoisseurs of everything unusual should turn their attention to this type of tracks..
Combinations look especially successful when a smooth, even stone is combined with uneven pebbles of different shades. Also, an original solution for each garden will be a path made by the hands of the owners themselves. There are not so many options for creating such tracks and, most often, it is easier to trust professionals, but then in their work that piece of soulfulness that is always present in hand-made will not be enough.
There are a lot of forms for creating curly garden paths. Their prices can range from ten to thirty dollars, and some of them are sold directly in sets, along with the required amount of sand, cement and gravel. Also, independently working on the path of your dreams, you can independently adjust the color, add or remove decorative elements, thereby fully reproducing the ideal drawn by your imagination..