Walks and Paths within a yard are to move from one area to another. They may lead to the front entry, a side door, the back yard, or other destination. They can be a hard or porous/soft surface, defined or implied, or somewhere in-between. While they may seem that they are mostly utilitarian, walks and paths can be very effective in affecting the style, mood, function, transitions from one area to the next, and aesthetics of an area, just as the plants, topography, size, location or any other elements of an area do.
It is important to consider size/area/width, location, material type, connection, transitions, purpose/ function, amount of usage, and whether there are steps or ramps if not flat, of any walk or path in the yard. In doing so, sometimes function trumps aesthetics, and at other times, aesthetics are more important…sometimes, this is determined by the clients’ needs and priorities. Most times, both efficiency and aesthetics can be accomplished in the plan.
Shades of Green Landscaping designs useful, visually pleasing, and practical walks and paths of many styles. We consider its use, location, formality, and any specific function it serves. We love to hear comments such as ‘Now it is easy to get to the lower yard’, ‘Guests have a pleasant experience getting to the back yard, without being treated to views of our garbage cans, compost bin or storage area’, or ‘We can both walk together rather than single file’ – the result of good walk and path design and planning.
Typical materials of a walk or path include concrete/cement, brick, pavers, natural rock, cut rock, flagstone, asphalt, mulch, gravel, stepping stones, decking, even lawn ….. maybe some combination of these or other materials. Each walk or path will be different and unique to a site, unless the topography, lighting, orientation, plantings and many other elements are exactly the same. Their design and locations offer a chance to make the site more functional as well as aesthetic, depending on the detail considered. Shades of Green Landscaping prides itself on considering detail and implementing it, if the client approves, and the ‘extras’ fall within the budget….or, they may be details that can be updated or added in a later phase.
Shades of Green Landscaping often design walks and paths to include something to do or see or experience along the way….’not just getting there’. Perhaps an area is widened or shaped to allow some activity or stopping point. Maybe there is a place to feed the birds or smell a fragrant shrub or see a certain special view.
Shades of Green Landscaping will consider the site qualities, proposed use, preferred style, and architecture of house in designing the various walks and paths for a landscape plan, as well as client feedback and preferences and many years of experience in learning the little nuances that work well. In addition, cost, safety, maintenance requirements, future access for repairs are considerations.
Please look at the various photos of walks and paths in this section – we hope that you can envision something that might be adapted to your own site and have Shades of Green Landscaping design and/or install for you!
Lawn pathway for mower access
Wood gravel steps/landings are a more interesting entry walk to the side door than the unrestricted gravel slope there before. Sunny area allows for terracing climbing veggies and berries in the new side garden.
Precise lines in this sidewalk from garage to front porch counter the casual arrangement of plants.
Fern garden with washed rock drainage and walk, bordered by spalls.
Hand-placed flat washed rock path to combination wooded and large lawn back yard.
Fake mulch (shredded rubber tires) used as pathway material to a distant seating area in back of yard.
Brick entry walk replaces weedy gravel to an updated farmhouse out in the country.
New paver entry walk, replacing 24″ sidewalk that was too narrow and cracked. A concentric paver circle at turning point adds interest.
New entry walk replaces unimaginative entry sidewalk with large descending landings and offsets.
Large slabs of flagstone are set as stepping stones and moss allowed to fill in the spaces around them in this side yard.
Short flagstone walk to an overview vista of the cows and pastures below.
Cement pieces poured in a form to be shaped like flagstone is set in sand to lead to another part of the garden through the native trees.
Simple Gravel path leads to an artist’s studio.
Huge slab boulders are used as steps down to the lawn.
Circular sidewalk around planter on axis with front door.
Access ramp replaces original steps we installed 20+ years ago. Landscape has matured and so did the clients, who are happy to have this concrete sidewalk so they can travel through their beloved garden.