Eclectic Homes

What's the Best Surface for a Garden Path?

A necessary characteristic in gardens, pathways allow you to access plants for maintenance and enjoyment, and they increase the layout and total impact of their landscape. The best surface for a garden path is dependent upon how you use the route, the amount of traffic on the route, whether you would like a porous or non-porous surface, layout considerations such as casual vs. formal as well as the expense of the stuff and installation.

Decomposed Granite and Gravel

Where good drainage is crucial, a garden path made of loose rock is best for water penetration. Some options are decomposed gravel and granite, which come in different colors and sizes. Use thick enough layers so the surface holds in place, and consider installing keeping blocks or strips in the path’s edges. For excellent drainage, set a several-inch-thick layer of decomposed granite over a 2-inch-thick layer of gravel. When gravel is the surface, it ought to be sharp-edged gravel rather than pea gravel, which has curved edges and does not pack together well. Granite and gravel can also be best in the event that you would like to have an informal appearance for the garden path, and the substances are more affordable than some other surface materials.

Bricks and Pavers

Bricks and pavers are among the choices for a garden path with a more formal atmosphere along with a long-lasting, low-maintenance surface. They produce a sturdy course that does not erode, and they’re successful in areas where foot traffic is high and lawn vehicles or electricity equipment need firm support. Bricks and pavers are more expensive and harder to set up than some other surface materials. With study and hard work, however, you can install them yourself. You might want to match the bricks for a path to a nearby wall or even your residence.

Rock Work

If cost isn’t a concern, then think about using a pure stone path made of flat pieces of flagstone, sandstone or other indigenous rocks. These surfaces lend themselves to just about any landscaping impact. A stone course ties its garden to a natural setting and can be refined, whimsical or formal, based on the patterns that the stones form once installed. Organic stone is perhaps the most difficult path surface to set up since the stones don’t come in standard sizes and often need careful fitting. It is also the most expensive pathway substance.

Tire-Derived Products

An up-and-coming line of pathway surfaces, tire-derived products are best if you are conservation-minded or need a natural-looking, permanent, bouncy surface. Ground-up vehicle tires are recycled into durable, low-maintenance, porous materials such as stones, pavers and tiles. They come in several of colors, shapes and sizes. Another advantage is that the flexibility of tire-derived products, which bend rather than buckle when tree roots intrude. A poured tire-derived pathway could be ordered in a variety of colors and other aspects to fit your layout plans.

Mulch and Bark

Best for an everyday, narrow path that does not get heavy foot traffic and isn’t usually traveled by wheelbarrows, wheelchairs or hefty lawn equipment, a mulch surface such as shredded bark or bark chips can mix the pathway into the garden and supply a natural ambiance. A mulched course is best for a vegetable garden. The mulch helps conserve moisture, offers weed control and gives firmer footing than a plain dirt path provides. Organic mulches such as straw or grass clippings can be turned under in the end of their growing season to help increase soil’s organic matter.

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