Garden Paths and Walkways
Garden paths and walkways are just as important to residential garden design as they are to commercial properties and parks. Without them gardens appear removed, distant, and distorted. With a path that runs by or through a garden, the opposite is true. However, a professionally designed hardscape dedicated exclusively to human transit introduces new geometries into the landscape. It also works on a functional level to take us into the heart of the garden so we can experience it as something that completely surrounds us.
Many different materials are can be used to build a garden path and walkway. Common materials involve pebbles, gravel, brick, and concrete. High-end materials include polished stone and mixed material designs. Mixed materials are an excellent way to create a walkway that compliments both the home and surrounding masonry structures. It is also a way to integrate softscape. Stepping stone walks, for example, can be built with certain stones deliberately omitted. Small hedges or even trees can be planted in these spaces to mix the organic realm with the inorganic form of the hardscape.
Since there are so many different types of garden designs, and gardens of all sizes, technically any place in either the front yard or back yard can have a pathway if there is a garden present for it to compliment. This much is obvious. However, many people do not realize that some of the best places to build a garden path and walkway. Some of these areas are too small for traditional landscape design, but there is enough room for a small patio, an asymmetrical but highly decorative garden, and a walkway that runs through the scene to define an otherwise unusable space with a new, dynamic geometry uniquely its own.
This is only one example of how far we are willing to go to customize our designs. We start with what the clients wants, and then we combine the raw essence of those desires with our expertise in hardscape design. Our two main priorities are to design garden paths and walkways that harmoniously compliment the architecture of the home. We also make certain that the design of any individual walkway stands in proper relationship with the larger vision of the landscape master plan.
Materials choices are made based on what will work best to develop a particular style. Accordingly, though, client budge is also considered from the standpoint of practicality. There are times when it may be necessary to consider more than one option in a rather expensive material, such as stone. It may also be necessary to use a substitution for stone, such as decorative concrete pavers that can be used instead to build a garden paths and walkway that works perfectly well for adding curb appeal to a property without having to be the most expensive landscape element on the lot.
Clients are encouraged to follow our recommendations and not attempt to purchase retail-grade materials and simply offer to pay us for the labor alone. This will not work, because retail-grade materials are not as durable or as attractive as commercial grade materials. If high-end materials are outside the client’s financial comfort zone, a more cost-effective, commercial grade substitute can be used without having to resort to cheaper grade materials as a solution.