Create a Garden Walking Path: We Have Instructions and Inspiration

Article Posted By: Laura Sullivan

of The Home Depot

Spring is the time for DIY garden projects. Here’s a video that will take you through the steps to create a garden walking path. In this case, we’ll use mulch or pebbles to create the path, which makes it what you might call a soft path.

We’ve written the instructions for you, too. Be sure to check out the “inspirations” we’ve provided below to make your garden path even more beautiful. 

Clearing a soft path of mulch, wood chips or pebbles will lend your garden some structure and make it highly stroll-able.

Everything you need for this project is available online or at your local Home Depot store. And we have a downloadable version of these instructions.

Here’s how to get the job done:

Illustration: Laura Sullivan

1. Define the Path. Use a garden hose to outline your projected route. After you’ve determined your desired shape and size, sprinkle powdered chalk along the length of the hose to create a template from which to work.

2. Remove the Turf. Use a hoe or square shovel to remove existing turf from beneath your pathway. When that’s done, remove 2–4 inches of soil to create a bed for the material of your choice.

3. Prevent Weeds. Spray the soil with a weed and grass killer to get rid of any remaining roots. To prevent future weed growth, cut landscape fabric to fit the pathway and lay it on top of the soil.

4. Spread Your Path Materials. Put down an even layer of mulchmarble chips or pebbles in the space you’ve defined. It will settle naturally, but you can use a rake to help evenly spread materials. Use a garden hose to rinse away any mulch or gravel dust and help the material settle.

Now, that you’ve got the basics, check out these creative ideas to make your garden walking path even more inspired:

Use greenery to give the path an “Enchanted Garden” feel. The contrast of vibrant green moss or plants against stones or rocks looks great. Also try planting creeping thyme between the stones for a wild, natural feel. We like the look of this wide path with thyme, leading to a pool area in Illinois.

Place the path where there’s natural foot traffic. Every yard has those worn routes that get more tread. Take that as a sign that your new walking path should go there. We like this simple path to a patio because it just makes sense.

Use interesting stones to create a border to your walking path. This natural California garden demonstrates how smartly placed stones can be an artistic border to your walking path. Try finding recycled stones from an old house or quarry.

Plant colorful or fragrant plants along the border of your walkway. What could be better than a stroll that captivates the senses with fresh colors and fresh aromas? Consider planting your most interesting garden elements along the edges of your new path, like this gorgeous walkway in Kansas City.

Have an amazing pay-off at the end of your path, like a piece of garden art or a cozy reading nook. The Japanese maple at the end of this path works well with the Buddhist-inspired sculpture in this little garden.

Check out other garden projects here on The Apron Blog. And be sure to sign up for The Home Depot’s Garden Club, where you can get special offers, discounts and expert advice.

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