Pathways (or walkways) are a priority in any landscape and landscape design. Pathways greatly enhance a home’s curb appeal and serve as the way for you and your guests to get from one area in your landscape to another smoothly and with ease.
Pathways are functional in our outdoor environments but they are also aesthetically pleasing and carry a strong positive energy due to their tendency to ‘flow’ in the natural world. They also help to ground a space – thus acting as a kind of backbone in landscape design.
Outdoor Craftsmen places great importance on paths and walkways. Our experience with luxury landscape design informs our penchant for often using pathways as the design’s starting point.
A home’s front walkway, for example, should make a good first impression and create a clear path to the door. This is typically already in place when we begin a project. We may recommend plantings to enhance to overall appeal of a front path, or we may suggest something different altogether to maintain an overall cohesion in the home’s outdoor areas – and the landscape as a whole.
We see walkways as a ‘big picture’ important design element.
The number of different kinds of materials used for pathways is large and varied – here are notes on some of the most popular:
- Brick – classic and timeless. Easily softened with appropriate plantings such as groundcovers, low-growing perennials interplanted with colorful annuals, or cascading ornamental grasses that mimic the movement of the brick pathway’s curves.
- Colorful Concrete – stamped and/or stained concrete stands up to heavy foot traffic and can be quite creative when designed by a professional in this method. We don’t recommend typical gray, coarse concrete for pathways however, as these will bring the overall appeal of your home down.
- Casual – many pathways are created from materials like flagstone with plantings in between each stone. The overall feel is earthy and laid-back.
- Boulders – Outdoor Craftsmen are experts in designing outdoor creations from stone. Steps in a pathway may be fashioned from a series of large or small boulders. Rugged and very natural, this kind of pathway isa great way to create mystery in the landscape.
- Pavers – this humble building material comes in many forms, and some are highly attractive and high quality especially when seen together in a walkway or patio. Pavers can be laid in a running pattern to create movement and draw the eye through space to connect all the elements of the landscape.
- Tranquil/peaceful – these types of paths cater to areas of the landscape where privacy and quiet are strongly desired. Usually narrower and designed into more densely landscaped areas of the environment (although not always – see picture of Zen garden above), peaceful paths can be made of mulch, pea gravel, stepping stones. The focus is kept on calm and opportunities to enjoy being in nature.
- Extra-wide walkways – we sometimes ask our clients to consider an extra wide walkway in their landscape design. Wider paths can accommodate two people walking side by side and promotes conversation and connection.