Creating gorgeous borders and beds is every gardener’s ultimate goal. But playing with plants is only part of the landscape equation. As you work in your garden, you’ll find natural paths from one point to the next, which will act as the backbone of your design. While refining your plan, you can create an inexpensive and simple path that will give your garden structure, keep feet dry and invite guests inside.

 

Side yard pathway

Designing a garden can be a muddy business, especially as you build structures and borders. Wearing down a grass walkway makes a dirt path that quickly becomes a quagmire when it rains and a dusty eyesore when it’s dry.

 

Backyard toward gate

After we built an extended deck and pergola on one side with a curved fence border along the other, we had a worn trail from the deck through the gate to the driveway at the front of the house.

 

Steps to deck

Side yards are notorious for neglect but if they’re in constant use, as this area is, a path is an absolute necessity. We needed an easy and affordable solution that would define garden areas and direct traffic while giving us the option of easy removal if we wanted a more refined design later on.

 

Landscape fabric and pavers

The answer? A paver and marble gravel combination that we laid in a weekend.

 

Pavers and edging

First, we dug the path to remove sod and level the ground. To define a small bed  for perennials and annuals along the side of the garage, we edged that bed with small concrete blocks.

 

Pavers on landscape fabric

Next, we covered the soil of our path with landscape fabric to inhibit weed growth. Then, we laid 16×16-inch concrete pavers in a staggered pattern to accommodate a natural gait. It’s more comfortable if your foot can rest on a paver at each step.

 

Path with gravel

Finally, we filled in the spaces between pavers with white marble chips. Leaving the sod on the opposite side of the path provides a soft and natural contrast to the hard surfaces.

 

Finished path toward gate

The next day, we completed the path from the gate to the deck.

 

Path to deck steps

The simple structure takes curves easily and finishes our path from the side gate to the steps of the deck and back entrance to the house.

 

Finished path with a happy fluffy dog running down it

Done in a weekend, the simple solution to our well-worn traffic pattern creates a visual and physical link between the front driveway and the back deck that comfortably serves all family members (whether on two legs or four!).

 

© Caruth Studio

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