Outdoor Living : How to Create the Best Garden Paths and Walkways

Beautifully designed walkways help achieve structure in your garden that increases the effortlessness of your outdoor living space. Without a well designated path, your garden and grass areas will eventually wear down, so keeping foot traffic to a minimum through easy access is best.

Walkways are also useful for defining garden beds and borders and adding dimension and impact. Whether you’re building new and have a blank canvas to work with or you’re breathing life into your current outdoor space, inspiration is never far away.

Here’s some great tips to make the most of your garden paths and walkways.

Consider the Purpose of Your Walkway

Before you put shovel to dirt, you need to define the walkway’s purpose. Will it be a practical link directing people from the front gate to the front door? Or is it purely for pleasure, a whimsical feature on which to lazily stroll through your showpiece garden?

Entryways will always benefit from a path, framing the front door and creating a welcoming feeling. If this is the purpose of your walkway, make sure it’s wide enough for two people to walk along together. If it’s for aesthetic reasons, design a path that complements the garden structure and curves through it.

Carefully Consider Design and Materials

The choice of design and materials can significantly impact the dynamics of your walkway. The purpose of your path will help dictate its construction. For something that’s both visually appealing and practical, composite wood products are a favourite. Composite timber mimics the look and feel of regular timber, without warping, rotting, splinters, termites or the need for regular maintenance.

Your choice of materials should also take into consideration weather conditions. If the garden path is going to be heavily trafficked, use a non-slip material. Also, be wary of how the materials heat up throughout summer. Consider resources that encourage drainage and discourage weeds. Don’t forget to include steps and curves into your walkway for added functionality and interest.

Aside from composite wood products, which can be matched to your decking, cladding and garden screening, popular walkway materials include embedded stones or slab pieces, granite stones, stamped concrete blocks, gravel, bricks and grass/moss.

Don’t be Afraid to go Bold!

Whether it’s creative planting schemes to shape your garden path or dynamic designs within the walkway, don’t be afraid to make a statement. A garden path that’s dull and uninviting isn’t going to be welcoming. For smaller budgets, create a ‘wow’ factor with your use of materials, colours and design. Curved garden paths with decorative designs provide boldness, without taking away from functionality. On the higher end, budgets that are more forgiving can turn a walkway into a work of art.

The choice of materials contributes to the character and warmth of your walkway. Combined with colourful plants and bold tints, the best garden paths are timeless and attractive.

Light the Way

Outdoor lighting adds enjoyment, kerb appeal and an important safety feature to your garden path. Light defines space and a soft, warm glow can contribute to the welcoming feel of well-designed walkways. The right lighting is vital to enhancing visual charm and can change the style of your outdoor space.

Path lights can be set on a timer for convenience or set up motion sensor lights to give the area a modern feel. Solar-powered options along the walkway are ideal for DIY setup, keeping costs down and illuminating the path in a natural-looking moonlit effect. Wall lights, sconces and step lights are great to use for paths adjacent to buildings.

Pay Attention to Details

Garden path extras, like borders and edging, can dramatically change the charisma of your walkway. These details are the best way to highlight, define borders, add texture and dress up the landscape. Regardless of what details you include, make sure the result complements your landscape design.

Invest in Safety

A garden path isn’t practical if it becomes a safety hazard! Aside from checking the slip ratings for your choice of materials, you’ll also want to do a thorough risk assessment. This can determine essential safety features, like whether it needs to be child-friendly. Be aware of the risks paving gaps can create (toys, roller skates, shoes/heels etc getting caught) and how smooth the terrain is for comfortable walking. Homes in bushfire prone areas may need to consider the use of fire safety rated materials.

Get Creative Outdoors

Creating the ultimate garden path is an exciting project! Outdoor spaces that need a little love can benefit greatly from the right walkway. Which ideas will you be incorporating into your design?

Still tossing up about what new home you should build that compliments your future garden? Make sure you give us a call on 1800 184 284 to find the right builder for you, or book a call now.

Zoe Langenberg

Zoe is passionate about coffee and interior design. You can find her most weekends exploring an art gallery or devouring a good book.

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