2 easy garden paths to beautify your backyard

June 19, 2015

Serving both functional and fashionable purposes, garden paths are an easy way to spruce up your yard or lawn. Here's how to build your own.

2 easy garden paths to beautify your backyard

An easy, inexpensive path

This simple, inexpensive garden path requires no heavy lifting or fancy tools. A bundle or two of cedar shakes, a roll of landscape fabric, a few bags of mulch and, when putting it directly on soil, a couple of hours are all it takes to build it.

  • Begin by creating the path edging; cut 45-centimetre-long (18-inch-long) cedar shakes in half, then pound them about halfway into the ground.
  • Shakes are naturally rot-resistant and should last five to 10 years or more. And since they're tapered, they're easy to install.
  • Bear in mind, shakes will split and break if you try to pound them into soil with lots of rocks, roots or heavy clay.Next, lay landscape fabric, which helps prevent weeds from growing in the path and creates a barrier so the dirt below remains separate from the path materials above.
  • Finally, add about 10 to 12 centimetres (four to five inches) of path material, which can be wood chips, shredded bark, decorative stone — just about anything.

An answer for erosion-prone paths

A solution for erosion-prone paths are 40 x 59-centimetre (15-3/4 x 23-5/8-inch) gridlike concrete pavers called Turfstone. The concrete grid holds soil and grass in place even on steep slopes, while providing good traction for wheelbarrows and lawn mowers that roll easily right over them.

  • Manufacturers recommend installing these pavers over a compacted gravel base for driveways or other heavy-use areas, but if you're just laying a walking path, you can lay them on any solid, well-drained soil.
  • Turfstone is a specialty item. You'll probably have to order it from a landscape supply centre or a local concrete block supplier.
  • Each block costs covers 0.8 square metres (2.6 square feet).
  • If you lay two blocks side by side with the long sides together, your path will be about 80 centimetres (32 inches) wide.
  • The holes within the grid can be plugged with squares of sod, or you can grow grass from seed.
  • Once established, you can mow it just like the rest of your lawn.
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