Every garden looks more interesting with a walkway, which also makes it easier to get around to the shed, and other outbuildings. Whether you are a seasoned “do it yourself” person, or one just starting to tinker, garden paths and walkways for your home are not hard to design. One of the first things you need to think about when designing a walkway is what kind of walkway you would like. Do you want it straight or curved? What materials would you like to use? Brick? Stone? Concrete? Gravel? Here are some steps to help you decide, and design.
Preparation and research
Consider the overall look of your home and think of the look you want for your yard or garden. Do you want a sleek modern concrete look? An old world gravel look? Or a quaint paving stone or brick design? Remember to take a look at the walkway materials available at the hardware stores near you to get more of a feel for what would look best and what materials work best for your yard and home. For more ideas, look at a few home and garden magazines as well as some DIY magazines and sites for other walkway designs and materials.
Laying out the path
Choose the path you want your walkway to take, keeping in mind your garden design. Decide whether you want a straight walkway or a curved one. Think about meandering the walkway around ornaments or gazebos. However, avoid laying your path under large trees whose roots can eventually damage the walkway. Consider laying the walkway close to your flowerbeds to make it look more pleasant, and help you in the watering and care of your flowering plants. Once your route is decided, in your mind, check the actual placing of your path.
Different approaches for different choices
For a straight stone walkway, simply stand at one of the ends of the imagined path. Tie one end of a ball of string to something, or have someone hold it for you, and unravel the string as you walk over the planned route to the other end of the walkway. If you like what you see, drive in a stake at each end and secure the string, marking one border of the projected walkway. Similarly, mark out the other border to the left or right of this line (leaving a gap as wide as you want the path to be).
For curved stone walkways, use something more visible and flexible, like a garden hose. Beginning at one end of the imagined walkway, unwind a roll of hose in suitable meandering curves as you walk to the other end, following the imaginary path. This hose now marks one side of your curved walkway. Start with another hose at the required distance to the left or right of the first one to get the width of the walkway. Repeat the meandering process for this side as well, matching the curves you have already established with the first hose, and keeping the width fairly consistent from one end to the other.
Take a look at the final laid out path, take a walk along it, and adjust the layout where you find it necessary. Once the path is laid out to your satisfaction, mark the final path of the walkway with bright spray paint, making a template or walkway design for the actual construction of the walkway for your home.
Tips & Warnings
Keep potential problems in mind while designing the walkway.
If your walkway is going to cut across a lawn, for example, consider issues like how you will effectively mow the grass around or across.
If you have a wet yard, consider the issue of drainage to be laid out under the walkway.