No matter the amount of work put into a garden, it will not be evident if a proper garden path is not laid. There is indeed no essence of keeping a well-maintained yard if an attempt to get around the yard will amount to trampling on the plants that make the yard beautiful.
Garden paths have different styles and a person has to decide which of the styles they can easily set up and maintain putting the resources available to them into consideration. Garden paths are not only useful in marking the part of the garden that can be safely tread upon, it also gives the garden an additional aura of beauty and charm.
How to Choose the Perfect Garden Path
An important thing to put into consideration before choosing a garden path style is the purpose of the garden path. Some garden paths are to be utilized daily to move from one spot to another while some paths are just for aesthetics. The purpose will determine what level of durability is required from the garden path. Stone and brick paths are usually more durable than mulch or gravel paths.
Also, the time available to put the garden path in place goes a long way in determining what type of garden path to lay. Some garden paths, like the stepping stones path, take more time while some others, like the gravel path, take less time.
The resources available to an individual also determine the type of garden path to be put in place. Some garden paths require less expenses. An individual who has little to spare can stick to the gravel or mulch garden path while someone with enough resources can use stones and bricks for their garden path.
How to Construct a Garden Path
One major reason why gravel paths are the easiest to construct is that they are not usually set deep. Digging is, therefore, easy as it is only for a few inches; to accommodate the pebbles. The base is usually lined with landscape fabric which is to ensure that weeds do not grow through the path over time. Because gravel is not static, it needs an edge to contain it and the deeper edge for gravel path is the galvanized steel although other things like bricks or cedar can also be used.
Step 1: The first thing is measuring and digging up the shape of the path. Remember that the digging will not be too deep, up to 4 inches and the width of the path is dependent on individual preference.
Step 2: The next thing to do is to form the trench. The spade that was used while digging will be used to straighten the sides of the trench and the bottom of the trench should be smoothened by a rake.
Step 3: Crushed stone is added to the trench and also compressed. Compression is made easier after making the stones moist. This will not only make the process faster and easier, it will help in controlling the dust.
Step 4: The landscape fabric is subsequently laid in the trench. The shiny side should be upward. Spikes or pins should be used to hold the fabric down.
Step 5: The edging is installed and tapped down. The edging can be made to go through the landscape fabric to make sure that the fabric is totally held down. After the edges have been installed and tapped down the back of the edges should be backfilled.
Step 6: The path should be filled with gravel. The gravel should be evened out with a rake to ensure that no part of the landscape fabric is visible. To maintain a gravel path, it should be periodically raked evenly and more gravel can be added if required.
A Block path requires more effort and time than a gravel path. Basically, to construct a block path, most of the steps utilized to construct a gravel path will be employed. A Block path is, however, more durable than a gravel path. The only added work will be ensuring that the path is sloppy to ensure an uninterrupted flow of water.
Another difference is that the edging need not be galvanized steel. They are boards which can be nailed at the sides to wooden pegs that have been firmly rooted into the ground. A layer of gravel will be spread evenly into the path and it will be covered by a level of fine sand. The fine sand and gravel underneath will be fully compressed after which the blocks are systematically placed close to each other, on the gravel.
Mulch and Stone Path
Mulch paths are not only easy to make, they are also inexpensive although they may take more time because of the stepping stones that have to be carried. Two types of mulch are mostly commonly used; the cypress mulch which is lighter in color and the hardwood mulch which is darker in color.
The cypress mulch is used inside the path while the hardwood mulch is used outside the path to give the garden a beautiful contrasting look. Other important materials to be used are stepping stones and landscape edging kits (this does not require digging).The steps to be employed are;
Step 1: The stepping stones will be laid out in a way that each stone is at a comfortable distance from the other. This is to ensure that each step lands on a stone.
Step 2: Choose and measure the desired width of the path and place the landscaping edging kits at the measured edge.
Step 3: The landscaping edging kit is then pegged down. A hammer can be used to achieve this. The pegs should be placed at every 4 to 6 feet and particularly at the top of any curve.
Step 4: The mulch is then poured into the path. The mulch will be evened out by a rake. The mulch that is darker in color will also be poured outside the path and thereafter evened out.
Pallet wood path
For wet sites, a person can utilize a pallet wood path. A pallet wood path is not as difficult to construct as other garden paths because it doesn’t require digging at all even though it may require more money to purchase the pallet wood. It simply requires mapping out the path and leveling it. Pallet wood is subsequently arranged on the levelled soil.
Basic steps in laying any garden path
Even though there are different styles of garden paths with different laying procedures, these basic steps cut across all the styles.
The first step for all garden path styles usually has to do with measuring and mapping out the path. The measuring tape is very useful at this stage.
- Digging/ Leveling
Mapping is followed by digging if the garden path requires it or leveling the soil if the garden path does not require digging. The digger, shovel, and rake are very useful at this stage.
This is just to demarcate the garden path from the rest of the garden. It may be done with galvanized steel, wood, stone, landscape edging kit, blocks or any other thing that can make the path stand out from the rest of the garden.
This can either be by crushed stones, gravel or sand as the case may be. The rake is useful at this stage to even out the filling.
This is usually the final stage and it involves covering up the path with the desired cover which may be gravel, pebbles, blocks, stones, mulch, pallet wood, etc.
In the light of this, an individual can formulate a totally different garden path style based on the resources available to them. Laying such a garden path will not be difficult as long as the aforementioned basic steps are implemented.
In conclusion, apart from the numerous benefits that are attached to a garden for laying a garden path, it is also beneficial in many other ways to the individual. Laying a garden path can serve as a form of exercise ground to a person. Buy your paving needs at Midland Stone, where they have a huge range of blocks and paving for garden paths.