As a landscape designer, one of my favorite topics of garden design and construction is the garden path!
A well thought out and lovingly created garden path makes a garden come alive. It guides us to experience the magic and beauty of a garden fully.
I made this collection of some of my favorite DIY friendly and gorgeous garden path ideas, and a list of helpful resources / books: ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
If you want to dive in, here are a few of my favorite books with lots of great details on garden path construction!
- The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook: I just LOVE this book. So many amazing patterns and close-up instruction photos!
- Garden Paths: Inspiring Designs and Practical Projects: lots of construction detail drawings of all kinds of garden paths
- Sunset Western Garden Book Of Landscaping: gorgeous photos for inspirations, and detailed photos for DIY
1 – 3. Easy DIY garden paths
The first group of garden path ideas, are loose materials: Wood chips, gravel or decomposed granite.
Pros: Wood Chips, gravel and stepping stones ( perfect for those who loves to walk bare feet! ) are great beginner-friendly materials for DIY garden paths. They are the easiest to handle and least expensive material. They are soft underfoot, but solid enough to handle heavy foot traffic or a loaded wheelbarrow. A border can enhance the looks of these pathways grealy
4 & 5. Gravel Garden Path Variations
Flexible metal or stone edging (can be easily made from local rocks) gives a nice definition to this garden path, and keeps the gravel in place.
Fine gravel path with concrete pavers or natural stone landing areas create interesting texture and details. Gray colored gravel also looks great in a Japanese style garden! ( Source: Bliss Garden Design )
6 -8. Natural-looking Garden Path
Materials such as broken concrete or small (1″+- ) river rocks are very cost effective.
Compacted decomposed granite ( aka DG, basically super fine gravel, looks and feels like fine sand with smaller than ¼” particles) is really comfortable to walk on. It’s used a lot in Mediterranean and Southwestern style gardens. (Source: Sisson Landscapes | Karl Gercens | Swicks )
9 – 10. Pebbles and Slate Chips Garden Path
11 – 16. Pavers and Grass Garden Path
A grassy area is beautiful. It is not suitable for heavy traffic such as loaded wheel barrels. By adding attractive pavers such as brick, slate, or concrete stepping stones, you can have both beauty and functionality!
17. Stepping stones and grass.
18. Cobblestone garden path
One of my favorite garden path designs is old cobble stones. It’s used a lot in traditional European gardens, and the rustic vibe is irresistible.
19, & 20. Variations of broken concrete garden path
Broken up concrete is a great material for creating garden paths. Here the pieces look very much like natural stone.
A variation of up-cycled broken concrete path with gravel filled in between the stepping “stones”.
21 & 22. Wood garden paths
The wood plank path and recycled railroad ties path require more skill in carpentry and construction. Important: wood can get slippery, especially after a rain or in shade. Always add an anti-slip coating on wood paths in shade or in rainy climate. ( Source: Garden Design Co | Tumblr )
23 – 25. Creative and playful garden paths
The wood slice path is perfect for an enchanted woodland garden. ( Source: PendletonDM )
The recycled bottle path and edging looks beautiful as the glass bottles reflect the sun light! (Source lost. Please let me know if you find it.)
The last example is from a book I love: The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook. Isn’t it inspiring?
For more great garden ideas, check out these magical living structures you can create!