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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

Garden path ideas: 10 inspiring examples

Updated: Mar 28

I'm deep in garden revamp planning at the moment and spending far too many hours a day looking at Pinterest and getting inspiration. I'm determined to DIY a beautiful garden path to replace (or likely cover) the monstrosity of ugly old concrete slabs that we have currently. Here are some of the ideas I've been considering for garden path materials and formats in case they are useful or interesting to you.


Creative garden path ideas


1. Limestone cobbles

Benefits of limestone cobbles

  • Beautiful

  • Durable

  • Non-slip


Potential negatives

  • Costly

  • Ongoing maintenance eg cleaning to keep them looking their best


I love the look of these beautiful stones, but for us the sheer amount of work to perfectly level the ground then the cost of the stones will be prohibitive. One day, I'd love to have a cottage garden decked out with cobblestone slabs, but for now I think they are out of reach in my search for a budget DIY.


2. Rubber Stepping Stone Railroad Tie

Benefits of rubber stepping stones

  • Eco-friendly

  • Durable

  • Low maintenance


Potential negatives

  • Install cost

  • Potential for some colour fade over time I love this idea because anything that is eco-friendly is a smart move, but I'm personally looking for something with the look of stone rather than wood and I'm hoping for a pale colour.



3. Weathered brown stepping stones

Weathered brown stepping stones for garden path
Image: B&Q

Benefits

  • Good value

  • Easy to install

  • Low maintenance


Potential negatives

  • Heavy to move around and install



These stone stepping stones look like they've been around for ages and have a natural and weathered rustic look. I'm hoping for a more contemporary look with light bright whites and a fresh look. These would work well for a cottage-style garden.

4. Curved stone path



Benefits

Natural looking

Easier to install than straight lines

DIYable

Attractive


Potential negatives

Aggregates can be expensive

Needs ongoing maintenance

Needs tools for installation, like a compactor.


This type of path is top of my shortlist at the moment. I love that you can shape it to fit your garden with beautiful curves rather than having to keep to completely straight lines, I also love the fact you can add any colour gravel. I like the contrast of the light gravel shown with the fresh, vibrant greens of the planting. Installing a gravel path on a rubber matting base will keep the gravel in place, reducing the amount of movement and ongoing maintenance.


5. Wooden pallet garden pathway


Benefits

  • Natural looking

  • Easy to install

  • Rustic


Potential negatives

  • Requires a lot of wood can be expensive

  • Can get slippy when wet

  • Requires maintenance to prevent rotting



We already have a wooden deck so I know only too well the level of maintenance required to prevent mould, rotting and slipping in wet weather and winter temperatures. Although a wooden pallet-style path looks natural and rustic and could be painted, oiled or stained, it's not quite the Mediterranean, contemporary look we are hoping for.


6. Grass pathway

Benefits

Natural looking

Easy to install & maintain

Very cost-effective


Potential negatives

Can get worn down by high foot traffic

Can get muddy

Requires maintenance to prevent bare patches and bogginess.


Grass pathways are ideal for expansive gardens where a formal path would be prohibitively expensive. Our front garden is small with high amounts of foot traffic, so I'm hoping to make something more weather-resistant and resiliant.



7. Herringbone brick garden path

Benefits

Attractive

Hard wearing


Potential negatives

Expensive

Skilled install required


Brick pathways, especially in the herringbone format as seen are one of the most beautiful examples of a garden path. They remind me of the paths at stunning National Trust gardens like Sissinghurst and would be a dream to have one day. For now, the cost is simply too high and the amount of work required for install is too great. This is one for the vision board!


8. Wooden plank garden pathway with gravel

Benefits

Attractive

Easy to install & maintain


Potential negatives

Requires ongoing maintenance


These wood and gravel pathways are natural and rustic and definitely have charm and character, but I'm leaning away from wood due to the amount of ongoing maintenance and the lifespan being shorter than that of stone.


9. Cobblestone-edged gravel path

Benefits

Hard-wearing

Non-slippy


Potential negatives

Expensive

Skilled install required


Cobblestone-edged gravel paths have all the feels of a formal garden in a stately home. They look smart and durable and set off the adjacent hedging so well in the picture, but the number of cobblestones we'd need would push the costs too high - another one for the future wishlist.


10. Garden path with slabs and plants


Benefits

Natural looking

Easy to install

Less weeding required


Potential negatives

Takes time to grow

Requires ongoing maintenance

Can be expensive


I love the relaxed and lived-in look of slab pathways where plants have grown in between the slabs. This would look perfect for a charming cottage-style garden but I'm hoping for a neater and sleeker final look.


For our DIY garden path project, I'm leaning towards making a gravel path using rubber matting and pea gravel and then pouring a resin mix over the top of the stones to set them, preventing flyaway stones and mess. I'll let you know once I've done more research into this option. I'm going to share lots of garden inspo posts while I plan and execute this makeover so check back regularly to follow along. Don't forget to check out my post on summer garden prep for tips on how to get your outdoor space singing before summer.


Where next?

Here are some other garden-related posts that you might enjoy...


Paths & Patios



Rockery & driveway



Storage



Decking


I hope you've found some of these ideas inspiring and useful, let me know in the comments if you try any of them. Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the page & hit the subscribe button to receive my monthly newsletter which is packed full of tutorials, updates and offers.










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