Garden Paths

cut stone path

Pathways lead us, or at times we lead them… depending on whether the trail is one made intentionally by the gardener or accidentally – as we so often see when following paths made by animals, or the mailman’s shortcuts, or our own well trod ways as we go from house to an outside destination. But however they are created, we use Garden Paths and they help form our visualization of the landscape.

Decorative garden cobbles

Eventually a homeowner will desire to make the paths cross the yard in the most attractive and practical ways possible. That is where this page of inspirations comes in…. so let’s learn a bit about pathways in the garden.

Formal pathways are usually straight and positioned on an axis. They are often made of a material that is more permanent, like brick or stone, although they may be of other types which match the house they proceed towards.

Informal paths will wind, and might meander, while being made of a wider variety of materials, even mixed ones.

Paths may also be covered in turf, grass paths. Even a mown passageway through tall grasses qualifies as a path, and might be your choice in a country place, or if making a meadow or prairie garden.

Width is important. So many garden paths are only a foot or two wide, but widen the walkway to at least 4 feet across, preferably 5 or 6 feet. You will be happy that you did.


gravel is a common material for paths

Gallery of Pathways


Garden Pathway Materials

…some of the choices…

  • Flag Stone
  • Boardwalk
  • Shredded Bark Mulch
  • Gravel
  • Concrete
  • Pavers
Peaceful Fountains,Meandering Pathways

A Few Preferences I Have For Pathways

I like a path to go somewhere. It doesn’t have to be important, just a seat, or a little something to see like a special plant, but I like it to have an end destination.
I like pathways that are wide enough for two.
I like pathways to sometimes hold a little mystery.To take a turn or two, and end up somewhere surprising.
I like pathways to be safe. It is no fun to fall.

Consider your personal preferences when landscaping your property.

Walkways may combine mixed materials like the path within this Japanese bonsai garden.

mixed material pathway

They might be made of unusual materials like this bottle path.

bottle bottom path

A Recommended Book

A Selection of the Crafters Choice Book Club & the Homestyle Book Club.

More Pathway Inspirations from Others
List of Links
Garden Paths and Garden Steps