The many varieties of garden paving materials, and the many possible paving designs, make a garden path a fascinating project. The first use of garden pavers is, of course, to deliver a dry and firm footway in your garden design. If brick, block or stone pavers fail to do this at all times (within reason), the garden is better off without this type of path. Moreover, if garden stone paving designs fail to add to the charm of the garden, it becomes an unnecessary expenditure. Therefore, on the one hand, garden pavers should provide stability and comfort, and on the other, beauty of color, texture, design, and treatment. Paving can also present an indelible outline of the garden's interior design. This it will do quite naturally, if it follows the paths and skirts the edges of the open spaces. Garden paving does away with the necessity for trimming along the edges of the herbaceous beds and provides a dry approach to all the perennials after showers and on dewy mornings.
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The landscape designer in us sees in garden paving an opportunity for such added beauty in the garden that the difficulty comes in not overdoing it. We must remember that, while the garden path should have individuality, they should, at the same time, harmonize with the rest of the garden space. If it is necessary that we use materials whose coloring makes the paving stand out too boldly in relief, such as bright colored tiles, bricks or flagstone pavers, we should allow nature to cover them with mossy growths and not be too meticulous in our efforts to keep them clean. We should refrain, also, from covering too much of the open surface of the garden with pavers. If there are paths that are more than, say 5' or 6' in width, it would be better, in most cases, to run a strip of edging pavers along the edges rather than attempt to cover them completely.
Garden Path Pavers
The same rule should apply to any broad open areas in your garden design, remembering that the color and texture of well-tended turf is finer than that of stone pavers, and that garden paving is not required in an area on which it is not necessary to walk when the grass is wet. Therefore, restraint both in the treatment and in the use of garden pavers will make it all the more effective in the end. The choice of materials for paving, if economy is an object, will be determined by the style of pavers most readily available. If you long for the green, blue and purple slates of Vermont, but live in Maryland where the local slate is dull and colorless, but are unable to justify the expense of importing the New England variety, you may find some comfort in the fact that there is a great deal more landscape design ingenuity in making use of the affordable material, than in choosing the more expensive, however lovely it may be.
Moreover, do not allow the style of the garden or the dominating architecture determine to too great an extent the paving material. Any material, whether it is brick, tile, concrete, or stone pavers, can be made to fit any given situation, if it is in the hands of someone who is able to handle it artistically. However, stone or flagstone pavers are generally the most preferable material, as it harmonizes more readily than any other, both in color and texture, with the bloom and foliage of the garden. Random stone paving is suitable for a small backyard landscape with random pattern paths and with the cracks filled with moss or edged with small alpines. Where a suitable stone paver is not obtainable or where the preference lies with brick pavers, the brick will be found to be susceptible to various interesting treatments. The same may be said of tile pavers, of which there is a great variety both in size and color.
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There are a variety of pavers design ideas, especially for stone or brick garden paths; and also for a garden walkways design with a combination of brick and stone. In these designs the brick panels can be varied in length to suit the way the path roams. The center of a panel should always be made to opposite steps or to a path leading at right angles. The pieces of stone between the brick panels should be considerably larger than the edge but all this is a matter of taste. All edges of these formal paths should be even. To create your pattern prior to hauling the heavy stone to the garden path, design your garden paving with the help of free garden or landscape design software. Many programs offer a free trial download that would be sufficient for a quick garden path project. Author: C. H. Bedford.