27 Garden path ideas you’ll surely love

Get inspired by these garden paths that are both functional and beautiful.

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Functional garden path layouts provide more than a suitable surface for walking. A beautiful garden path can also be an architectural piece in itself. 

Garden paths create a pattern that allows for more fuss-free gardening activities, such as ease of harvest, pruning, and weeding. Moreover, plants and grass are protected from being stepped on. 

Have a look at these various types of garden paths you can build in your garden! We’ve listed 27 of them, as well as tips on how to make a garden path. 

Cheap DIY garden path ideas

Want to save money and do it yourself? Here are inexpensive garden paving ideas you can try out. Simply gather a bucket, drywall saw, garden rake, spade, wheelbarrow, tamper, and garden trowel. 

Here’s a list of affordable garden walkway ideas. 

1. Mulch walkways


Mulch is an inexpensive option compared to gravel and stone pebbles. Common types of mulch for garden paths include wood chips, cocoa beans, and cypress bark. These materials are lighter than stone and, therefore, easier to haul and spread. 

However, keep in mind that organic mulch decomposes over time. You may need to change the mulch every two to five years. Plus, you cannot use them in areas with poor drainage if you don’t want your path to be soggy. 

2. Gravel walkways

Gravel materials are available in various types: crushed gravel, crushed limestone, and pea rock. You can use washed gravel, crushed stone, or crushed shells for a more formal and longer-lasting material than a mulch path. Gravel lasts long and will only need occasional weeding for maintenance.

3. DIY brick garden path 


For a timeless, classic garden path, brick is a favourite choice. They are durable, sleek, and long-lasting. Plus, they can be arranged in blocks! You can install them in squares, crosswise, and zigzags. If you want to match the colour of your bricks to their surroundings, you can paint them in any colour.

4. Wooden “biscuits”

These ‘biscuit’-looking steps are made from trunks and arranged to form a rustic-looking but sturdy walkway.

5. Grass walkway


Love walking bare feet and feeling the grass brush against your feet? You can opt for a grass walkway if you have lush garden areas with minimal foot traffic! 

This garden path idea is less labour-intensive. However, you may need to factor in additional necessary maintenance, such as regular cutting, edging, and watering. 

6. Rustic wooden walkway 

You can’t get any more rustic than with refurbished wood! Use upcycled pallets to line your garden path. A beautiful garden path doesn’t always have to be expensive. 

DIY walkways can take lots of time and effort. It can also be challenging if you don’t have prior experience in garden design. You can hire a garden designer to take the work off your hands and ensure you achieve a beautiful garden path.  

Modern garden path ideas

7. Circle stones of varying sizes 


Put visual order in your garden by installing minimalist round-shaped stones in similar or alternating sizes. This looks nice with the varying plants along the edge of the walkway.

8. Stone and wood path

Wood and stone are great for unique contemporary gardens. You can use rustic wood or clean-cut ones over a bed of pebbles or other kinds of stone.

9. Minimalist wood decking


Deck your walkway with wooden steps for a clean, minimalist aesthetic.

10. White marble walkway on gravel

Do you want to build steps for easy walking on a gravel path? Why not install white marble steps? White marble looks stunning in contrast to the grey colour of gravel.

11. Round concrete stepping stones


Do you have a sloping garden, or just want to add layers? Add levels you can step on by installing big round concrete stepping stones.

Stepping-stone path building tips:

  • Proper distancing. Arrange each stone, so the distance from one centre to another is around 50 to 60 centimetres (20 to 24 inches).

  • Set the stones in place. Position the stones first, then cut around them using a rock saw. Next, lift the stone to dig out the grass and a little soil.

  • Level the stones. If you opt to level the stones, sand is easier to work with than soil. So spread a half-inch layer of sand under the stone to level the stones more easily. Set the stones 2.5 cm (1 in.) above the soil. This height will allow a lawn mower to go over the path while still giving you a dry place to step.

12. Clean, black modern slabs

Black slabs can make a pathway look sleek and elegant. Pair these materials with lighter-coloured beddings such as gravel or white pebbles.

13. Circular stones on red gravel


Red and black add pops of colour to your garden, composed of different shades of greens. Use circular stones on red gravel like the ones in the garden path above.

14. Clean wooden plank arrangement

Complement your pruned and shaped bushes by creating a walkway lined with wooden planks. Imagine walking on this under the morning sunshine!

Creative garden path ideas 

15. Stone mosaic garden path


Create beautiful mosaic patterns on your garden path. This spiral pattern can make any garden path an art piece.  

16. Colourful ceramic walkway

Express your colourful personality by lining your walkway with various ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles are not just functional materials but also a great decorative element. 

17. Geometric garden path 


Garden paths don’t always have to be straight lines or circles. A geometric garden walkway is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a unique design. 

18. Stepping-stone paths with yard stones

Use stepping stones if you prefer building a path that involves little digging. They’re one of the easiest materials to work with, even if stone is heavy. You don’t have to level the stones with one another since there is a distance between each stepping stone. 

19. Planted paths with yard stones


Make your garden path easy to walk on by placing ground cover plants between your yard stones. This way, you can skip the thick, compacted gravel base underneath. So even if the stones shift and become uneven, the plants will hide that. You also won’t need to put in extra effort (and time) to lay the stones perfectly. 

Planted path building tips:

  • Foot-traffic resilient plants. Choose plants that are strong enough to stand foot traffic and can grow in your garden’s lighting and soil conditions.

  • Regular watering. Water the new plants regularly for the first few months to help them thrive. 

  • Manage weeds. Pull weeds and grass regularly to prevent them from overrunning the plants.

20. Cobblestone garden path

Want to mimic traditional European gardens? Get the rustic vibe that a cobblestone garden path brings. This is perfect for gardeners who have tall wildflowers overspilling onto the path. 

Japanese garden path ideas

Stone, plants, and water are the three essential elements of a Japanese garden. These elements are also essential in building garden footpaths. Achieve the zen garden vibe in your home with these Japanese-inspired garden footpath ideas.

21. Garden path with water feature


Japanese gardens usually have a water feature, symbolising renewal, calm, wonder, and continuity. Some gardens have koi ponds on the side of their walkways, while others have a sōzu. A sōzu is a type of water fountain that consists of a segmented tube (commonly bamboo) pivoted to one side of its balance point. At rest, its heavier end is down and rests against a rock.

22. Bamboo garden path 

Bamboo is an essential design element in Japanese gardens. Commonly used as a decorative plant or privacy screen, bamboo also produces calming sounds from its rustling leaves.

23. Walkway lined with stone lanterns 


A Japanese garden isn’t complete without a stone lantern. This garden decor can be made from weathered stone or aged bronze. Moreover, stone lanterns come in many shapes, such as abstract forms and animals.  

Garden path decoration ideas 

24. Outdoor lighting for a dramatic effect


If your garden path layout is curved, add outdoor lighting for a dramatic effect! A well-lit curved garden path makes for safer and more comfortable evening walks. 

25. Painted motif on stone

Paint flowers or any motif on your stone path or tiles to add uniqueness to your garden pathway. From nature themes to modern patterns, the possibilities are endless. 

26. Garden path with water feature


Achieve a serene atmosphere by adding a water feature to your garden path. Line the path with concrete blocks you can step on to navigate around your garden. 

27. Garden path with an arch to draw the eyes 

Imagine walking towards a beautiful arch on a warm afternoon. An arch is an excellent focal point for a garden path. This design element is also perfect for English country gardens.  

How do you lay a simple garden path? 

Depending on your preferred material, here are tips and steps on how you can lay simple garden paths.

Materials for border and edging mulch and gravel walkways:

  • Plastic landscape edging - Cheap, fast, and easy to install

  • Steel or aluminium edging - For crisp edges

  • Brick and stone - Aesthetically pleasing but more expensive

  • Concrete - Less expensive than brick and stone but has the same advantage

  • Landscape timbers - Useful for building shallow steps on gradually sloping terrain

Mulch and gravel walkways building tips:

  • Cutting sod. To make the job faster and easier for long paths, you can remove grass using a gas-powered sod cutter, which can be rented. If you have a short path, you can just use a garden spade to cut off the sod. 

  • Edging. To keep about an inch above the fill material, don’t forget to set the edging. When setting the edging or border, you can use a spacer stick to cut to the width of the garden path. This way, you can ensure that both edges run parallel to each other without having to use the tape measure. You can also hire a garden edging service to do this task for you. 

  • Prevent sogginess. You can prevent the fill material from mixing with the soil, and plastic isn’t your only option. Plastic tends to catch water and make a garden path soggy. As a solution, cover the soil with landscape fabric instead. 

  • Levelling the ground. Do you want the path firm enough to roll a wheelbarrow on? Use crushed stone and tamp it out after levelling. Hand tampers are okay for short paths, but you may need to rent a vibrating-plate tamper for long paths.

How do you draw a slope on a garden path? 

  • Plan the route. Remember that a straight walkway down a steep slope is unsafe as these may cause slipping accidents and injuries. If you want to create a straight pathway, carefully plan the route. But your safest option is to include back-and-forth zigzags.

  • Prepare the area. Pull out the weeds and put weed barriers in place.

  • Level the garden path. Use a shovel or a machine to make the ground as flat as possible.

  • Dig up your slope. Once the desired depth is achieved, use the shovel to level the path.

Make your curved garden path. Lay the walkway surface using your preferred material. Then, install the garden steps and the railings.

Build your dream garden path now. 

Did this list of garden path designs get you excited? It’s time to give your garden an upgrade! You can always hire a garden designer to build your dream garden path to save yourself the time and effort of doing things yourself. 

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FAQs on garden paths

The cheapest way to lay a garden path is to use inexpensive materials such as mulch and gravel. You can also DIY mulch garden paths to save on labour costs.

Grab a stiff brush to clean paved paths. If the layer of dirt doesn’t go away, you can use a pressure washer. This can help blast dirt, stains, and moss on your garden path or patio. But you do need to be careful, as pressure washers can damage concrete. Your safest bet is to hire a high pressure cleaning service.

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