Watch your step! Here’s a bunch of creative ideas for designing garden paths and walkways plus DIY stepping stone tutorials. Whether it’s stone, brick, hypertufa, or concrete pavers, there’s lots of things you can do with simple materials for a great look.
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Step Right This Way
I became a little obsessed with garden path design last summer while I was trying to figure out possibilities for my own back garden. The pathway right now is grass and, with the extremely sandy soil, I know whatever I try will probably sink into the ground over a few years. There are some brick borders in the old front garden that have recessed into the ground and all but disappeared. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting a fabulous path of some kind.
I took these next photos on garden tours. There’s some creative and clever ideas here. I’ve also gathered up some DIY tutorials for stepping stones you can make for your garden.
Curvy is Good
These first few gardens have curvy pathways made from low cost materials. I spent a ridiculous amount of time debating curves or straight lines in my own garden and ultimately went with the most practical solution for the space (straight lines). If I had a do-over I’d probably go with some curves to obscure views and add a bit of mystery. Mind you, family members simply trying to get to the swimming pool may not be so amused.
This first garden is an incredible gem. The whole thing was so photogenic.
This next garden shows two ideas I like. The simple, curved concrete pavers, plus the stones used to create raised beds.
This next pathway has a message in one of the stones that gathered a lot of admirers. I’ll show what it says in the next photo.
Here’s the enchanted garden stone. I’m wondering if you could use a Dremel tool to engrave something like this? If you know the answer, let me know in the comments.
Speaking of stepping stones, here’s an arrangement of giant homemade leaf stones.
You can make these giant leaf walkway steps in an afternoon. The instructions are here plus information on making hyperfufa and concrete planters.
Stepping Stone Tutorials
Here’s some options for concrete, hypertufa (a mixture of various aggregates plus cement), and ready-made pavers.
- Hopscotch stepping stones | Wonderful idea for a child’s play garden.
- Leaf imprint stepping stones | Use real leaves to create beautiful stepping stones.
- Hand-painted concrete pavers | Use ready-made pavers and dress them up with paint.
- Hypertufa leaf-shaped birdbath | Use giant leaves to create imprints in hypertufa.
Circle of Stones
I photographed this stone maze years ago in a country garden. They used the heavily-shaded areas under the trees (where nothing much grows) to create this little work of art.
Checkerboard Herb Garden
Here concrete pavers are placed in a checkerboard pattern with various herbs and ground covers planted in the open spots.
Here’s another glimpse of the garden I showed you at the start (the one with the curvy brick pathway). The contrasting colours of the plants were just breathtaking. So consider this a gratuitous shot with a nice flagstone path tossed in. And how cool are those garden art tulips? Here’s one version of them at Amazon.
Here’s an idea that’s smart for grass lawns: place pavers between the grass and the raised beds. Keep the pavers at grass-level and it will be much easier to cut the grass. No edging required.
Okay, yes, I’m showing you lots of these stone-sided raised beds. But, since I live somewhere with zero stones, I’m a bit envious.
And finally, when it comes to arranging a pathway, consider flower power. Here the flagstones are cut and arranged to form giant flowers. There’s all sorts of possibilities for this idea. In a more modern garden, it would be cool to spell out a word such as ‘WALK’. Inventive, I know. But you get the idea.
May your pathways take you just where you need to be.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛