A garden pathway, a narrow path that can be straight or winding, leads one to the porch of the house. You can design a garden pathway to form two or more branches that serve to lead the visitors to interesting landscaping elements in the garden, such as a pristine fountain or a beautiful sculpture. The basic purpose of having a pathway built in the garden, is to offer people a place to walk on, should they wish to enjoy the beauty of the garden or spend some serene moments in the midst of nature. Moreover, in the rainy season, when the garden soil is too soft to walk on, having a pathway can make things a lot easier. But why choose stone for building your pathway, you may ask. While you can use materials such as bricks and concrete, using stone can add an earthy feel to your pathway and make it look natural, like nothing else can.
A pathway may not always be structural and formal looking. A pathway made up of slabs of stone randomly laid, has a natural appeal to it. It is indeed delightful to see such pathways end up in porches of picturesque cottages, winding through bushes of pretty flowers along the way. While conceptualizing the design for your garden pathway, you can consider using different stones for different parts of the pathway. And if you're left wondering where to get the stones from, then you'll be glad to know that you'd easily get them at a stone yard nearby. So, just have a look at the different stone pathway ideas illustrated below and choose one that you feel can change the way your garden looks, forever.
Garden Pathway Design Ideas in Stone
Here we shall have a look at different stone pathway designs and how you can tweak each of them a little to make them fit into your scheme of things. In other words, you can just use the basic elements of a stone pathway design and incorporate them with different elements, to come up with something entirely new for your garden! First of all, we shall look into two types of layouts that you can have. Then we shall find out what are the available options when it comes to the types of stones to be used, and when and how to use them. Sounds interesting? Keep reading...
Stone Pathway Layout Ideas
Layout refers to the general appearance of the pathway and to some extent, its shape. While a pathway can be straight, meandering or one that literally zigzags through the garden, choosing the correct layout is important to make sure the pathway complements the garden and, more importantly, the look of the porch it leads to.
Structured Stone Pathway
A structured stone pathway can be straight or curved but is built such that it has a definite structure, and is much more than just another pathway meandering through the garden! Also termed as formal pathways, structured pathways look different from most conventional pathways due to the fact that they look artificial, as opposed to most pathways that are designed to appear as close to nature as possible. A structured pathway has slabs of stone or concrete, cemented together with no gaps between them. You'll find these pathways in formal gardens that are perfectly symmetrical, and these are designed keeping the rules of geometry in mind.
Stepping Stone Pathway
If you want to go minimalistic with your garden pathway, then stepping stone pathways are the way to go. Stepping stone pathways are innovative and at the same time, are not too expensive to build. This makes them a popular choice for those who wish to add other objects of interest to the garden landscaping, instead of spending more on the walkway. You can have many interesting variations to the humble stepping stone pathway by using different stones in many colors, along the length of the path. You can arrange the stones to form a curved or meandering path or give it any other shape of your choice. A stepping stone pathway is easy to lay and takes very less time and effort to build. In fact, you can build one yourself in no time!
What we just saw were the two extreme styles of garden pathway layout. Most houses have garden pathways that are custom-made with inputs from the people who live in them. Now, we shall see what are the different stones available that you can use for building your garden path.
Innovative Design Ideas for Stone Pathways
There are several options out there when it comes to choosing the stone for your pathway. Depending on what look you want, you may use gravel, cobblestone, flagstone or pebbles. Here's a list of some ideas to design your pathway in stone, that you are sure to find useful.
Flagstone is the name used for any stone that has a flat surface. These stones are commonly used for designing patios, walkways, garden pathways, and porch floors. It is a flat stone that is around 2-3 inches thick and has an irregular shape. Flagstones are available in a range of colors, and you can use them beautifully to create a garden pathway. What's more, once the stones are laid and the walkway is almost done, you can add to the aesthetic appeal by planting exotic grass or small flowering plants in the spaces between the flagstone slabs. Even constructing a stepping stone pattern pathway using flagstones, is a great idea. Just throw in small gravels around the flagstones, preferably in a contrasting color, to add to the effect! Here's an image for your reference.
A cobblestone pathway can bring in a vintage flavor to your garden path, as it was the preferred stone for pavements and walkways in the Victorian era. You can either seal the stones to the path using mortar, or simply lay them close to one another for a beautiful effect. An interesting idea is to use these stones on the stretch of the pathway next to a pool, a landscape waterfall or a fountain. The main advantage of using cobblestones is that they are resistant to corrosion.
Paving Stone Pathway
If you have ever come across a driveway built of small rectangular stones that look like bricks, then you must be able to identify them with the stones used to build the garden path shown here. The curved path looks beautiful because of the many flowers that add a splash of color. Between the pathway and the plants growing along it, is a narrow patch strewn with gravel and small stones. You can plant flowers of different hues along the path, such as multicolored tulips, lavender, violets, petunia, begonia, sage, and many more. Just keep in mind that more colorful the result, the more attractive your garden will appear to be.
It may not sound to be a great idea at first, but a gravel pathway can look beautiful if planned and executed with care. You may not want to build the entire pathway with gravel, but a small stretch can work wonders. Place this stretch of gravel close to a water body, such as a fountain. A great way to bring this about, would be to use gravel on the part of the pathway that leads to the landscape fountain or waterfall (as shown in the image alongside). Gravel is found strewn near brooks and waterfalls, and using gravel will take the natural appeal of the landscape water element a notch higher. This will create an illusion of it being a natural part of the landscape and not something put up there, by man! Sounds cool? Why not give it a try?
Natural Stone Pathway
Natural stone is any stone that is formed in nature. Stones such as granite, marble, limestone, etc are found in nature, and are used in their natural form in construction. In the picture given alongside, you see a natural stone pathway made of slabs of a blackish stone. Colorful flowers growing alongside, add a touch of color to the otherwise monotonous pathway. You can choose a particular stone depending on the color scheme you would like for the pathway, as well as the color of the flooring and the walls of the porch.
Pebble Mosaic Pathway
This is an interesting way to style your pathway and requires you to use a bit of creativity. Pebbles are nothing but small oval-shaped stones with a smooth texture. Use them to form unique and interesting patterns and it can turn out to be spectacular. Once you have the pattern ready with you, place the pebbles accordingly, and use mortar to fix them to the ground. Pebbles in different colors can truly bring life to a beautiful design, and this is one idea that is ideal for contemporary-styled gardens and porches.
If you wish to draw the attention of the visitors to a particular stretch of the pathway, then make sure to highlight it using stones of a different color, or of a different type altogether. Installing objects of interests, such as a bench or works of art in stone, along the pathway can add to the visual appeal. Even installing a bird bath, somewhere close to the pathway, can make things interesting and invite birds to make your garden their home.
While designing a pathway, it is a good idea that you include flowers and flowering plants in the picture. Note that when it comes to flowers, there are innumerable options. You can either choose to plant the flowers on both sides of the path, or in between the laid out stones to fill in the gaps. Also, the theme of the walkway, and even that of the garden as a whole, is determined to a great extent by the type of flowers you choose. Using walkway lighting to illuminate your pathway is also a great idea. Proper lighting can add a surreal glow to your garden path.
Thus, you see that creating an eye-catching pathway is not that difficult after all. Hope this article, on stone pathway ideas, has helped you pick up some useful tips on designing pathways. So, incorporate them in creating a truly innovative pathway that people simply can't have enough of, walking on. Have fun!