A pretty pathway through the yard and garden is the perfect finishing touch for your landscape design. There are plenty of different styles and garden path materials to choose from, so if you’d like to create your own, there are some things to consider first! Here are some ideas to get you started on choosing the perfect pathway for your backyard and how to install it yourself.
Garden Pathway Materials
Whether you want something rustic and natural or sleek and modern, there’s no shortage of options to create a pathway that suits your home’s aesthetic. Here are some materials you can use:
These flat slabs of stone often have unique shapes in varying sizes, creating a pretty, natural look that’s perfectly imperfect. You can arrange them to fit inside a pathway perimeter, then fill the spaces between pebbles, grass, bark mulch, or groundcover plants. Flagstone is durable and smooth, and there are many different shades to choose from—choose one shade for a more uniform look, or use multi-tonal flagstone slabs to add subtle dimension to the landscape.
Rock mulch, like pebbles or river rock, can make lovely paths. Use them alone, or fill in the gaps between larger paver stones to create an even path primarily made from uneven slabs. Rock mulch is easy to clean, and though you will need to replace it every five years or so, it’s generally pretty durable. We love the variety of shapes and shades available—it brings beautiful texture and color contrast!
If you prefer a sleek, uniform look, then pavers are the way to go. These evenly shaped bricks are made specifically for pathways. Rectangular paver bricks are the most commonly used material, but there are also some gorgeous lattice pattern pavers that create a criss-cross motif through your pathway, allowing grass to peek through the holes. You can also use brick pavers as a border trim for flagstone paths.
Groundcover Pathway Plants
Want to skip the stone altogether and just stick with plants? There are plenty of low-growing, walkable plants that can function as pathways and grass alternatives. You can also use these plants to fill in spaces between uneven stones and pavers—they won’t grow too tall and can easily withstand foot traffic. Some popular choices for Fort Lauderdale include:
- Perennial Peanut
- Sunshine Mimosa
- Creeping Fig
- Beach Sunflower
Some other groundcover plants, like Asiatic Jasmine or Frogfruit, can’t withstand much foot traffic but can still be used as filler plants around your pavers—they just aren’t great as standalone pathway plants.
How to Create Your DIY Garden Pathway
Here’s how to make your beautiful garden paths in a few simple steps:
- Use a flat head spade to create the border outline of your pathway, and then dig out the inner contents—soil and grass—to a depth of about 6 inches.
- Tamp down the soil, so it’s flat and even.
- If you’re using a rubber or plastic edging material, like the kind you use for garden borders, insert this now. If you’re using bricks, skip ahead to step four.
- Spread a 3–inch layer of sand or gravel and tamp it down to make it even.
- If you’re using rectangular pavers to act as the border for your pathway, put these into place.
- Arrange your pathway materials however you’d like. If you’re using pebble mulch, just spread it until it fills the path you’ve dug up. If you’re using flagstone, arrange them, tamp them down, and fill in the gaps with whatever filler material you’ve chosen. If you want groundcover plants to fill the gaps, fill the gaps with soil. If you’re using uniformly shaped pavers, get them into the position you’d like and tamp them down to lie totally smooth and even.
Voila! That’s how you make a DIY path.
Looking for some more inspiration for garden pathway ideas in Fort Lauderdale? Visit Living Color Garden Center and explore the different groundcover plants and hardscaping materials available now. Our staff will be happy to make suggestions based on your preferred style and budget!