1. Large Blocks

    Carved and shaped blocks lie in this pond seemingly floating above an eternal void. This type of path is not something to try if you have a few hours to pass. The sheer size of the blocks, even if they are already cut, will take more than one person to maneuver.
  2. Floating Steps

    stepping-blocks-path.jpgHowever, a stepping-stone path like this could easily be constructed within a weekend. Brick piers rising out of the watercourse are topped with a pebbled slab. The only precaution with this style is ensuring that the slab is fastened securely and maintained over time. While this style of path looks quite intriguing they can become very dangerous over time and vigilance will need to keep them maintained.

  3. Pre-Fab Stepping Rounds

    stepping-stone-circles.jpgIf you're after a less intensive stepping-stone path then buying pre-fabricated rounds, squares or any shape and then surrounding with pebbles is a great option. Log rounds, sliced across the grain of a hardwood tree, work really well too but be prepared to replace these within 5-10 years as rot and nature take their course. If you're going to use logs then check for white-ant infestations before you add them to your garden.
  4. Inset Paths

    While stepping-stone paths are usually based on a stepping platform raised above ground level, insets are paths that are set at ground-level or below. They are created to seamlessly mesh into the environment in which they will reside.

  5. Lawn Insets

    inset-path-lawn.jpg One of the most common form of inset paths is laying the step directly into lawn. It's a very easy path to make and one that can really standout aesthetically. The downside, of course, is the level of maintenance needed to keep these looking great. The edges will need to be regularly trimmed and in the warmer months this may need to be a weekly chore. One other maintenance issue for this type of path is that the lawn will, over time, grow above the inset steps. Therefore, within a few years you may need to lift each step and re-align it with the level of the lawn.
  6. Garden Bed Insets
    instep-flagstone-path.jpgAnother option is to inset this path directly into the garden bed. This pathway could be constructed using wooden blocks, flagstones or any other flat material that isn't unnatural in its shape. As a base isn't constructed to hold these insets in place they need to be heavy and broad enough to handle the weight of those traversing it. Insets that wobble or can easily be displaced can become hazards later on.
  7. Pebbled Paths

    Some of the easiest paths to create and maintain are ones that are created with pebbles or stones. Gravel, aggregate, river stones, crushed bricks and crushed limestone - there are many more - are great options for weaving a pathway through your garden.

  8. Loose Pebbles and Stones
    pebbled-path.jpgThis is a great example of an easy path solution. While loose pebbled paths require some barrier or border, once this has been completed then shoveling loads of pebbles is a very quick task. And, it's a garden path that can easily be completed within a few hours - depending on it's length - or at least within a weekend. The benefit is once it's down there shouldn't be too many ongoing maintenance issues, either.
  9. Fixed Pebbles and Stones
    hard-pebble-stone-path.jpgIf you have enough time, and plenty of patience, then challenging yourself to create a fixed pebble or stone path is certainly rewarding - when it's finished! But don't expect that to be anytime soon as these paths need to be done in stages and can take weeks, months or years. The base of the path is usually concrete but could also be cemented limestone. As the slurry begins to set, pebbles or stones are set in decorative arrays and held fast over the years.
  10. Paved Pathways

    Paved paths can be traced back as far as the Romans as their roads were all built with paved clay-fired bricks. And there's no prizes for guessing what they perceived as the benefits such construction. Strength, endurance and the durability to weather the elements were all positives for this type of pathway.

  11. Brick-paved Paths

    paved-path.jpgThese are one of the more common styles of paved pathways mainly because they are easy to lay, will last a long time and are strong enough to withstand most climates. Depending on the pattern selected - herringbone, brick-pattern, basketweave, stretcher-bond etc (here's a link for more patterns)- will determine the amount of time it takes to construct such a path. However, regardless of the style, most of the work goes into preparing a base for the bricks to sit on. If you get this right then your paved path should outlast you, but skimp on the effort at this level and you could be repairing dips, raised bricks or ones that are falling away for the rest of your life.
  12. Tile-paved Paths

    tiled-path.jpgWhile you may expect that tiles are an indoor medium, they are starting to become popular outdoors as well. There are three ways to do these; the first is similar to the Fixed Pebble path in that they are inset into concrete (usually coloured). The second is like brick paving where terracotta tiles are laid on a gravel/sand base while the final option is to fasten them onto a concrete path with some form of adhesive. The third choice is great if you're wanting to give your garden a new look to an old path. Instead of removing that ghastly 1950's concrete path, provided it is still structurally sound, you could easily give it a face-lift with some mosaics or tessellated patterns.

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