25 beautiful garden path ideas & professional landscape design tips! How to create attractive DIY backyard walkways with easy to find materials such as gravel, brick, stepping stones, wood, pavers, or even mulch!
As a landscape designer, one of my favorite topics of garden design and backyard landscaping 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 to share with you 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!
- Ultimate Guide: Walks, Patios & Walls: Landscaping and design ideas with DIY instructions and lots of photos for brick, mortar, concrete, flagstone, & tile
1. Easy Landscaping DIY Gravel Garden Paths
The first group of garden path ideas, are loose materials: Wood chips, gravel or decomposed granite. They are the easiest and least expensive landscaping materials to create garden walkways.
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.
2. Wood Mulch DIY Garden Path Ideas
Pros: Wood Chips, gravel and stepping stones ( perfect for those who loves to walk bare feet! ) are great beginner-friendly landscaping 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 garden pathways greatly.
Cons: They need to be top-dressed every 1-3 years. If you need to shovel snow often, gravel is not the best choice. Not suitable for steep slopes.
3. Gravel Garden Path Variations
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 garden designs.
4. Easy DIY Flagstone Garden Paths Set in Sand
Flagstone is a beautiful landscape material. It is easy to set them in sand and create a stylish garden walk!
5. Stepping Stones as Garden Paths
A great DIY landscaping project that everyone can do: use stepping stones to create garden paths, and plant some beautiful ground-cover plants in between.
6. Woodland Garden Paths with Natural Stepping Stones
A landscape design secret for you: natural stones are the perfect materials to create meandering pathways through a woodland garden!
7. Japanese Garden Path Ideas
Such a poetic Japanese garden design: the pebbles here are a metaphor for streams and rivers, and the little wooden bridge is stunning. Love the deep blue color of the slate!
8. Small Stone and Slate Modern Garden Walkway
Gray colored gravel or slate chips also look great in a modern style garden!
9. DIY Brick Garden Path
Brick is a timeless material in garden design. It is especially suitable for traditional and cottage garden design, such as a Mediterranean or English garden.
10. Pavers and Grass Garden Path ideas
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!
11 – 13. Garden Walkway Patterns
You can create beautiful patterns and designs on your garden paths with bricks, pavers, concrete, or stone. Some popular patterns are herringbone and checkers.
14. Grass Walkway in the Garden
A grassy walk is great for lush garden areas with less foot traffic and people who love walking bare feet (like me!)
15. Stepping stones through grass walk.
16. 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.
17 & 18. 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”.
19. 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.
20 – 23. Creative Garden Pathways
Make your own wood “stepping stones” with 2x4s or 2x6s, and set them in gravel for an unique landscape design feature!
The recycled bottle path and edging looks beautiful as the glass bottles reflect the sun light!
24. Wood Logs as Garden Walkways
Here’s a video tutorial on DIY wood steps. Instead of using Roundup to suppress weeds, please consider using a weed barrier fabric, or plant ground covers such as Thyme or Sedum!
The wood slice path is perfect for an enchanted woodland garden. ( Source: PendletonDM )
25. DIY Pebble Mosaic Garden Path Ideas
If you want to learn more about pebble mosaics, check out this book I love: The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook. Super inspiring!
For more great garden ideas, check out these magical living structures you can create!