The Garden Path

Anyone who has visited the gardens of one of our Stately homes will have probably been met with a massive area of trees and shrubs probably all connected with each other by lovely winding paths. If you are contemplating a path through your own grounds then what should you consider to start with.

A path is similar to a guide through the various plants and should take on an inviting look to the visitor so they can explore every part of the garden even into the vegetable plot. A garden of any sizeable amount will inevitably need a deal of thought before starting. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with a very large expanse of garden then it might be worth calling in landscape contractors or perhaps garden designers. To most of us though creating our own path is something we can manage on our own.

Assuming that there will be no tractors or similar heavy plant machinery then our path will be used purely by persons walking on it. How long it will take to do depends of course on its size. So how do we start?

Brick, gravel and bark seem to be the most common these days with bark gaining in popularity. The humble brick has been tried and tested over the years but for a natural look you cannot beat the bark. Try and make the path winding if possible as straight paths can appear too regimental. The first job whatever material you decide upon is to prepare the area down to a depth of between four and six inches. Put down a layer of sand to start with. If you are using bricks or paving slabs then sand is ideal for the base. The bricks or slabs can be laid out flat and more sand then swept between them. The bricks or slabs need watering when finished and more sand if necessary. Extra preparation needs to be done if you are contemplating using cement.

With bark or gravel then the procedure is slightly different. Edging will be needed along the sides of the path to hold the desired material. Wood or plastic will suffice and the materials need to be at a depth of about four inches. There are downsides to using gravel and bark in that they can get trodden away from the path and onto the main lawn. Bark may also need changing every so often given that it is an organic material and will break down in time.

The building of a garden path needs just a little imagination and you should find it does not prove very difficult to complete.

Rob Stone writes many articles on Home Improvement from Interior Bedroom Design to DIY Constructions such as building your own uPVC Conservatory.