There are many popular walkway materials for your garden from which you can choose; each has its own level of durability, ease of installation, and cost considerations. Choosing which material is best for your path will depend on how much traffic it gets, the size of your budget, and whether or not you intend to do it yourself. It’s also best if the materials you choose relate to both the style and color of your house as well as any existing hardscaping such as patios or walls.
Natural stone is a durable, beautiful choice for garden paths and comes in a wide variety of colors, but it‘s also one of the most expensive options. Other than hauling heavy pieces, it’s relatively easy to install; stones can be set directly in dirt and low-growing plants can be used to fill crevices. Some stone can be slippery when wet, however, and natural stone paths can be relatively uneven, making it difficult to maneuver wheeled objects along them.
Brick can be laid in several patterns, such as herringbone or basket weave, for additional interest. It’s slightly less expensive than stone, is durable, and its classic look works in nearly any landscape style. Bricks are generally laid over a layer of sand to make leveling easier and to help prevent weeds from growing through the cracks. Sturdy edgings will keep bricks in place. To prevent slippery surfaces, look for textured bricks. Some retailers may have used or reclaimed brick for sale, which will reduce the cost.
Pavers are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and the cost varies as well. Smaller pavers can be installed flush over a layer of sand, in the same way brick would be, and larger pavers can be used like natural stone, with gaps between them. Pavers made from cement will affect soil pH over time, making it more alkaline.
Gravel is a common and inexpensive walkway material, but will require sturdy edging to keep it in place, as well as occasional raking to level. Shoveling snow from a gravel path can be difficult, so this material is best for paths that aren’t used a lot in winter.