planning pathways and walkways

Step by step instructions building paths and walkways in your landscape.

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Planning pathways and walkways

 

Planning    Designing    Building

 

If your budget won’t let you build your dream landscape project all at once, plan and install improvements as you can afford them.  A modest investment in a path, or walkway for example can make a stunning improvement in the look of your landscape projects. And although it’s true that hard materials like brick and stone can pay back their initial high cost in a long tern reduction in maintenance expenses, that doesn’t put the money in your pocket now.

Consider low cost natural, durable, attractive materials. Pea gravel, wood rounds, and homemade stepping stones can produce a walkway every bit as appealing as more expensive alternatives. Some great ideas in designing your paths or walkway using brick pavers, flagstone, loose stone, cut stone, wood and concrete .

What’s more, if you build the base of the walkway to accommodate your preferred materials, you can put on chips or some other less expensive top now, then remove it and install more expensive paving later without having to rebuild the base. Path and walkways tie a landscape design together, they weave among trees, structures, and planting beds, visually linking them and providing a way to travel from place to place. Because paths or walkway should be attractive and fit into the landscape projects, both function and aesthetics are important in their design and construction.

When you design a path, or walkway think about how you will use it and how you want it to look. You can then determine whether the path or walkway should be straight or curved what materials to use, and how to construct it.

A standard concrete sidewalk would work just fine to go from the garage to the garden shed. But flagstone or brick could be just as functional and would be more attractive. And even concrete can be made to look beautiful with color and embossed designs.

 

 

 

 

              Making paths and walkways easy

 

Consider maintenance  when planning a path or walkway in you landscape project. Organic material and loose stone need frequent upkeep and will tend to migrate into lawns and flower beds. Grass  paths must be mowed. If you don’t have the time or inclination to regularly maintain a path, or walkway hard materials may be a better though a more expensive choice. If you live  in a snowy climate, will you need to use the path or walkway in the winter to get to a garage. If the path or walkway crosses a lawn, consider mowing. You can mow right over stepping stones or a hard path sunk into the grass. But grass will soon grow over the edges and cover the path, so you’ll need to trim and edge. Placing the surface ½ to 1 inch above grade will keep the grass at bay and make edging easier.

 

 

 

 

                  Options for redesign on paths and walkways

 

Decks, patios, play areas, and planning are often significant parts of a landscape. If you’re adding such landscape improvements, your results will be more enjoyable and better looking if you approach the planning with an eye toward developing an overall landscape design.

Planning an entire landscape begins with the same  exercise as planning a pathway decide how you want to use each area or zone in the landscape, then install elements that fit those purposes. This  is also an opportunity to begin looking for everyday problems you’ve never had the time to solve. With a little though, you’ll find these problems can turn into opportunities for  you landscape design.

 

                     Designing  paths and walkways for ease

 

Instead of always having to move the car to get the mower out, build a storage shed. Stop trying to grow grass where it won’t grow plant shrubs or ground cover. Become familiar with the culture of plants so you can plant species that thrive naturally in your location and don’t need special treatment or coaxing.

 

 

 

 

               Design for comfort

 

Plan your deck or patio so it isn’t in direct sun at the hottest period of the day. That shaded area might not let grass grow but would work perfectly as the setting for a couple of large flagstones and a wooden bench. If you’re putting a restful area in a path or walkway make sure the location drains quickly so it  doesn’t become a breeding place for mosquitoes.  Keep harsh winds away from your family fun areas with tall, study evergreens.

 

           Design for privacy

 

Those evergreens can increase privacy in your yard. So can fences or walls. But be careful not to build structures that make you feel confined. Plants  and structures also give definition to areas and can visually separate them from each other. Low shrubs will keep the kid’s play area or pool somewhat secluded, but leave one side open so you can keep their activities in full view.  Look from inside the house too. If you never open the blinds on one wall it’s a sure sign you need exterior screening either to shield the room from the glaring sun or to block the view.

                 Design for views

While you’re inside the house, look out and imagine how you could change the view from an open expanse of lawn to a vista that draws you out. If your yard lacks natural beauty, you can create it yourself with a well -coordinated landscape and planting plan.

 

                        Landscape projects you can do yourself

 

                       Brick paths     Pre-cast pavers     Loose stone paths     Flagstone paths 

 

                                      Cut stone paths     Wood paths     Concrete paths

 

 

 

 

 

 

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