A GARDENING expert has revealed their top tips for creating a garden path that won’t break the bank or require extensive digging.
A garden pathway can be much more than simply creating a way of getting from A to B and can cheaply and easily give a lift to any humdrum garden, making it more appealing.
Lisa Fazzani, writing for Ideal Home, says that choosing the right materials is key, especially when budgets are tight.
One easy way to do that is opt for reclaimed materials such as bricks or decking.
Or if you prefer, go for inexpensive materials like gravel, shingle or wood bark which are readily available in most DIY stores.
AN EASY STEPPING-STONE PATH
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Perhaps the quickest and easiest option go for a stepping stone pathway set into a lawn.
It provides an easy way to get from A to B and costs less that installing a standard path and you’ll cover more distance with less slabs.
This idea won’t need much digging and all it needs is a section of the grass to be cut out and some of the soil underneath to be removed before placing the stones or paving slabs in place.
If the garden is uneven, you can add some sand underneath to level things out.
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Lisa suggest the space between each stone should be around 20-24 inches from the centre of one, to the centre of the next.
Then set the top of the stone about an inch above the soil level so you can still run a lawn mower over the grass to keep it neat.
Creating a path using timber decking boards is another cheap and easy idea.
Lisa says this is a good option if you want a wider-than-standard path or have an uneven area of garden you want covered up and make more stable.
Before laying the boards though you must level up the area first, which will mean digging into the soil or lawn area and raking it over to ensure the area is completely flat.
Also, you will need to put down weed-proof membrane to cover the soil, to prevent any new growth from coming through.
Once the boards to cut to the right size, lay them in position and secure by drilling two holes into each end and use stainless steel deck bolts to prevent movement.
Fill any gaps with pebbles or gravel to give it a stylish look and this will provide extra drainage too.
RUSTIC STEPPING STONES
Rather than using standard concrete slabs, you can get a more appealing look using circular stones which will add more character to a garden.
There’s a wide choice available and can look particularly good in small gardens because the path won’t dominate the look of the lawn.
Lisa suggests plotting the path using a garden hosepipe to you can see how it will look.
Then space the stones equally distant apart.
Use the stones as a template when cutting turf away.
Stones can then be set on sand for a level base or cemented in to provide more stability.
EASY-FIT DECKING SQUARES
Instead of going for decking boards, opt for timber decking squares instead, which are readily available in DIY stores.
These are pre-cut to size, so no DIY skills are needed to lay them down as a garden path.
But you will need a level base for stability.
You can use the squares alongside gravel or shingle to create a floating-style pathway.
A variation on the decking squares is to go for interlocking deck tiles that can be easily slotted together to create your pathway.
If you want a quick, temporary solution, go for a pre-assembled decking walkway which rolls out rather like a floor runner, which can be a great idea if you’re planning a party or event. It can then be taken up afterwards.
RECLAIMED BRICK PATHWAY
Reclaimed bricks can give your pathway a charming rustic, country-style feel.
If you’re lucky, the reclaimed bricks can be picked up for free or fairly cheaply from sites such as Gumtree or Freecycle.
As they are already weathered and worn, they will have more charm than brand new bricks.
The bricks though, should be laid on a base of sharp sand or mortar to give them stability.
COMBINATION OF SLABS AND SHINGLE
A great way to cut costs in a garden makeover is to combine paving slabs with gravel or shingle.
Opt for pea single, which is inexpensive when bought in bulk and is ideal for hard landscaping if you want to cover a larger area but need to keep an eye on the cost.
By adding paving slabs to the gravelled area can add extra focus and direction, leading the way to key features or focal point.
Slabs are easier to walk on and provide a less slippery surface when wet.
To make it even more appealing, create planting pockets dotted along the path.
GET INSPIRATION FROM NATURE
Make sure any pathway is in keeping with the rest of the garden or outdoor space.
A rugged stone pathway can blend in naturally with its setting and works well if you have a sloped area or uneven section of garden.
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The stones can be laid in a staggered formation to ease the way down from one level to another.
A natural look can be gained by using stones and rock of different shapes and sizes.
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