In a garden, paths are important to ensure your lawn’s durability and to allow you free and easy movement. By car or on foot, well-arranged paths will save you time while providing your garden with an aesthetic touch. Let’s see all the essential knowledge you need to know about this subject matter, starting with what precedes the garden’s laying out, such as the role of specialists.

Before undertaking a task that you do not master well, it is always helpful to start by seeking some advice from people who know more than you. The garden’s arrangement and maintenance is no exception to this rule. Before laying out the garden paths, it is advisable to seek advice from a gardener or landscaper. But remember that maintaining your garden paths is, more than any one else, your responsibility. Without claiming to be exhaustive, what follows will give you a general overview of the materials used and the proper maintenance care.

Plan for the disposal of rainwater

This equation must be resolved prior to laying out the garden paths. Prevent, at all costs, rainwater from flowing into the house and stagnating on the garden paths. For this purpose, it is useful to arrange a sloped garden layout to evacuate rainwater toward, for example, a gutter leading to the water disposal network. Once this is done, specify your garden paths’ destined use: are they intended for pedestrians or for cars? In fact, all materials can meet both intended uses, but it is better for your garden paths’ good condition to use certain materials able to withstand daily passage of cars.

Take your home and garden’s specificities into consideration

Depending on your region’s specific climate, some materials may be preferred over others. For example, for low temperatures and humid atmospheres, materials able to withstand cold and water are recommended. Then, if you want beautiful garden paths, they need to be arranged to fit the style of your home. In this case, seek advice from a professional. For the layout, garden paths designed in straight lines are the preferred choice because they are easier to delineate and maintain.

Some materials for designing your garden paths

For the passage of cars, asphalt, which is not really expensive, is a recommended choice. For pedestrian use,  work with finely crushed gravel. The advantage of gravel is that it is not at all expensive in comparison to other materials. Hardy grasses, bricks, paving stones and concrete slabs can also be used. After compaction, ground evergreen branches can also be used to make ecological paving stones. Indeed, these ground materials can later be used as compost.

Maintaining your garden paths

Depending on its nature, asphalt can usually be maintained by a simple sweeping. Should it require further care, notably in the case of coated asphalt, resort to anti-stain products available in stores. As for paving stones and bricks, they do not require great care. To get rid of grass growing between the tiles, the use of herbicide is often effective as is the case of a Kärcher cleaning once or twice a year, in spring and late summer. In addition, resorting to a pressurized water gun will allow you to eliminate the micro-foams that form on the pavement.

For gravel garden paths, the only real problem is the growing weeds. You can simply remove them without needing tools. Do not forget to level your garden paths from time to time to maintain their original appearance. A good periodic raking allows you to reach this objective. Also know that after a few years (about 3 years), you lose some of your gravel. You will thus need to refresh the gravel paths and rearrange them to give them their original appearance. In regard to ground materials, they can be replaced every few years (3 years) and those that you remove can be used as compost.

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Published in Decorating guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011