Classification of garden paths from the masters of landscape design

Garden paths are guiding threads connecting all functional areas of the site and other elements of landscape design into a single ensemble. It is impossible to achieve the artistic completeness of the garden without garden paths. The choice of the configuration of the paths laid along the territory of the site is carried out at the stage of landscape design. Depending on the purpose of the tracks, materials for their construction are selected, as well as laying technologies. In accordance with the classification adopted in gardening design, paths can be decorative and utilitarian, main and secondary, hard and soft, straight and zigzag, wide and narrow. The design of the road transport network of the site is carried out taking into account its relief, which can be flat, saucer-shaped or multi-stage (in the presence of significant differences in height).

Utility and decorative paths in the garden

All garden paths can be divided into two large groups: utilitarian and decorative. Representatives of both groups are always present at each site. The utilitarian group includes access roads to areas for vehicles, as well as paths laid to outbuildings, which are actively used throughout the year. The width of the driveway to the site depends on the dimensions of the vehicles used by the owners of the country house. Usually this value is 2.5-3 meters. The base power is calculated taking into account the weight of the vehicle. Previously, only concrete was used as materials for the canvas. Nowadays, the preference is increasingly given to road tiles, which allow you to more accurately maintain the style in landscape design.

Ornamental garden paths are needed to decorate the site. They are laid for walking, during which a person can enjoy the beauty of the garden. Ornamental paths lead to recreational areas hidden in the nooks and crannies of the garden. The width of the tracks of this type ranges from half a meter to one and a half meters. Pebbles, crushed stone, tiles, natural stone, etc. are used as materials for the arrangement of decorative paths.

Decorative garden paths, lined with individual natural stones, add zest to the design of the garden landscape and make it easier to admire its beauty

Division of garden paths by purpose

There is a kind of hierarchy among the garden paths. Tracks can be main, secondary, connecting.

  • The main path is the main connecting element of the garden. The width of this path should be more than 1.2 meters so that there is enough room for two people to walk.
  • Secondary and connecting paths branch off from the main path to different sides of the garden. On narrow paths, which are about 0.5-0.7 meters wide, it is convenient to move one by one. The configuration of the secondary and connecting lanes does not have to be complicated. Otherwise, these elements will enter into competition with the main path, which cannot be allowed.

With the help of the main, secondary and connecting paths, united into a single road transport network, all significant objects located on a suburban area are connected: a house, a garage, outbuildings, an entrance area, open areas, recreation areas, artificial reservoirs.

A well-designed network of garden paths on the territory of the site allows you to easily get to any place in the garden

When designing a road transport network, it is necessary to adhere to the golden rule, which is that the axes of all tracks must intersect at a single point. This place, which is the compositional center of the garden, is decorated in the dominant style.

Garden paths design

The design of garden paths is chosen depending on:

  • the type and structure of the soil on the site;
  • seasonal ground movements;
  • groundwater level;
  • the estimated load on the paving;
  • intensity of use (seasonal or year-round).

Due to their design features, garden paths, in addition to their main purpose, are capable of performing another important function - drainage. To do this, their surfaces are given a slight slope, which ensures the drainage of rain and melt water into the drainage layer of the base of the track. You can build a garden path:

  • two-profile (middle above the edges) - water flows in two directions;
  • single-profile (one edge is raised above the other) - water flows down towards the slope.

Garden paths have not only a transverse profile, but also a longitudinal profile, which shows the difference in its height along the entire length (from beginning to end). The difference in height between the edges of the track in the transverse and longitudinal profile is measured in ppm. In this case, the following values ​​are allowed:

  • 15-60 ppm for the cross-slope of the track (depending on its width):
  • 70 ppm or less - for the longitudinal slope of the track.

If the longitudinal slope in any part of the garden path exceeds 70 ppm, it is recommended to arrange stairs for safety reasons. Otherwise, the path will be too steep.

With a significant difference in elevation, a path with stair steps is arranged on the territory of the garden plot, making it easier to climb and descend the slope

Classification of tracks by type of base

Any track consists of the following structural elements:

  • subgrade (deepening in the ground, corresponding to the dimensions of the track or site under construction);
  • base, consisting of an underlying sandy layer and (or) a buffer gravel-crushed stone bed of the layer. Both layers are designed to reduce the load on the subgrade, as well as to drain water from the site (drainage).

You can learn about other ways to drain water from the site from the material:

Depending on the functional purpose of the garden path, the type of base is selected. So for garden paths used during the summer season, it is enough to make a sandy base. For pedestrian paths that are operated year-round, the base should already be gravel and sand. Access roads and parking areas are built on a solid concrete base, reinforced with reinforcement.

Dividing paths into groups by paving type

The roadbed is another essential structural element of any track. According to the type of coverage, all garden paths can be divided into two groups:

  • rigid (monolithic concrete, clinker bricks, paving slabs, natural stone);
  • soft (pebbles, gravel, granite screenings (chips), crushed stone).

In landscape design, combined paths are also used, which consist of sections with a hard or soft surface.

Combined paths are made of bulk materials and hard surfaces, presented here in the form of individual stone slabs of a square shape

Complex technologies are used to lay a special roadbed. These include green paths arranged on a geogrid or filled with decorative concrete. The most popular in suburban construction are rigid paths, which make it possible to implement a wide variety of style solutions for decorating a garden plot. In addition, they are more practical, as they are durable, reliable, and easy to clean. Soft paths will have to be cleaned of debris longer and repaired more often by leveling the bulk material.

It is customary to single out wooden coatings in a separate group, made in the form of floorings, platforms, boardwalks, paths from wood cuts.

Also, plastic tiles are used for garden paths. Read about the pros and cons of this material:

Wood cuts in the design of garden paths are used in combination with objects built from rounded logs or beams

Strengthening the edges of garden paths

The curbs used to reinforce the edges of garden paths allow you to:

  • increase the stability of the coating;
  • protect the edges of the coating from possible sliding and destruction;
  • prevent the path from overgrowing with vegetation;
  • protect lawns and flower beds adjacent to paths from trampling.

Installation of curbs is mandatory for garden paths with a soft surface. Rigid paths are framed with borders at the request of the owner of the suburban area.

The aesthetic value of paving garden paths

The choice of materials for paving garden paths is of great aesthetic importance in landscaping. A pavement pattern can guide travelers, while arousing their interest in particular details. With the help of the pattern and type of paving, you can create the illusion of a large space, which is important for small areas. Intentional narrowing or widening of the path, interspersed with ornamentation, step-by-step areas lined with decorative stone, as well as a number of other tricks used by landscape designers, allow you to decorate the site and make its appearance unique.

The bizarre shape of garden paths decorates the garden area, shading the greenery of the lawn and highlighting the small flower beds from the general background

Taking into account the relief when arranging tracks

Any path laid on a site with a practical or decorative purpose must be necessarily safe, and also convenient to use. This is possible only if the paths are designed taking into account the features of the site's relief:

  • Smooth terrain: secondary paths can be placed in any way (fan-shaped, in the form of branches from the main path, other options).
  • Saucer-shaped relief: garden paths go out with the sun's rays from the lowest place on the site in which a decorative pond or gazebo is located.
  • Relief with a difference in heights: on gentle slopes, garden paths are arranged in a zigzag shape, the adjacent sections of which are connected with smooth transitions. On steep slopes, one cannot do without the construction of retaining walls and terraces, the transition to which is provided with the help of ramps and stair steps.

For the owner of a suburban area with uneven terrain, the material on strengthening the slopes and slopes on the site will also be useful:

The main garden path, immersed in the greenery of trees and stretching into the distance, allows you to climb to the terrace by a cascade of stairs

The combination of materials is the key to the completeness of the composition

Garden paths that match the shape and color of the materials used with the decoration of the house, fences, gazebos, flower beds and flower beds, allow you to give compositional completeness to the garden. When designing tracks, you must adhere to the requirements of the chosen style. For example, in a strict, regular style, it is assumed that all garden paths will be necessarily straight. At the same time, the main path serves as a kind of axis of symmetry, dividing the garden into two halves of the same design. The platforms arranged at the intersection of the tracks must also have a strict form of regular geometric shapes (circle, square).

The garden in a regular style is decorated with smooth and straight paths, drawn as if along a ruler by the skillful hand of a designer-artist

The landscape style, on the contrary, does not accept strict and straight lines. In such a garden, winding paths leading to the most secluded corners of the site will be appropriate. At the same time, every bend of the winding garden path should open a beautiful view of growing trees and flowers, skillfully created reservoirs with streams and waterfalls, attractive resting places, charming sculptures and other decorative elements.

Combining styles allows you to get unexpected results. With this mixing, the main path is made in the form of a straight line, and the secondary paths extending from it are given a free shape. The paths decorated with a floral border will help to emphasize the beauty of the Dutch style.

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Spring incidents with garden paths and how to avoid them

This has happened to you: at the beginning of the season you come to the dacha for the first time - all in plans, seedlings, joyful anticipation - and you see that irreversible changes for the worse have taken place on the site over the winter ... , the track "floated away". And the hands give up, the mood spoils, and the seedlings forgotten in the troubles of restoring the garden are drying out near the barn.

If your path after the winter has led ...

It's a shame, annoying, but what to do - all you have to do is roll up your sleeves and get down to business. And so that next spring the feeling of a holiday from the beginning of the summer season is not overshadowed by the appearance of breakdowns and losses, it is necessary to repair it correctly. Consider what spring incidents happen to garden paths and how to avoid them.

Varieties of materials for the design of the tracks

Today, various materials can be used to make tracks. The huge assortment can be divided into 3 large groups.

  1. Solid: concrete, all types of bricks, natural and artificial stone, wood.
  2. Soft: sand, shavings, crushed stone and fine gravel.
  3. Combined materials include a combination of different materials.

The most durable, perhaps, can be called paving slabs, stone and concrete. The tree, even if you cover it with several protective layers of paint and varnish materials, will begin to deteriorate after 5 years.

When choosing a material, it is necessary to take into account not only the planned landscape design, but also the type of land, as well as the level of wastewater.

Artificial materials

Quite often, the owners of suburban areas order artificial varieties of materials for arranging paths. They are distinguished by the following advantages:

Attractive design, an abundance of colors and textures, including those imitating natural coatings.

Variety of shapes, from simple (rectangle, square, oval, etc.) to complex (for example, tiles in the form of woody leaves, complex geometric shapes).

Abrasion resistance, burnout, exposure to high and low temperatures.

Light weightto facilitate delivery and installation.

Moisture resistance, lack of absorbency.

Artificial stone for paving paths has practically no drawbacks; the disadvantages include less resistance to mechanical stress compared to a natural analogue. As for concrete, which is also used for furnishing, its disadvantages include a not very aesthetic appearance, but you can give the surface a limestone texture or use a dye to create a beautiful coating.

Paths of paving slabs, polymer sand tiles, porcelain stoneware and concrete pavement with imitation of stone Source

Paving slabs

The material consists of a cement-sand mixture with the addition of granite chips, plasticizers and pigments. The main advantages are non-slip surface, high strength, attractive appearance and a large selection of colors.

Polymer sand tiles

The composition includes sand, polymer, plasticizers and pigment. Such tiles are more durable, resistant to moisture, aggressive chemicals, ultraviolet light, available in different shapes and sizes, but they are not cheap.

Porcelain stoneware

Porcelain stoneware paths have an attractive appearance, look solid, have excellent strength indicators. The material is very heavy, so you will need to carefully prepare the base.


Strong, reliable coating, withstands strong temperature changes, is not afraid of moisture. However, the concrete surface itself looks unaesthetic; additional processing will be required to make the path beautiful.

Preparatory work

It is not at all necessary to be a landscape designer or a builder to build beautiful, durable and safe paths on your site. A little information, effort and imagination - and the "dream path" is ready. The only thing, before starting work, I advise you mark tracks, planning their location so that it is convenient to get to any point of the site.

Tracks can be straight or winding... Designers know that a winding path can visually enlarge a small area. But most gardeners prefer not to philosophize and go straight.

Most gardeners prefer to take a straight path.

Pay special attention to soil preparation... After marking the tracks (and this is easiest to do with a cord and pegs), remove the sod with a shovel.

Remove the sod with a shovel

Basically, you need to dig a small trench, the height of which depends on the height of the sand cushion. Yes, in most cases, sand is required, which must not only be poured, but align and compact... For greater reliability, the bottom of the trench must be covered with rubble or gravel.

Watch the video: TOP 10 Plants and Ground Cover for Your Paths and Walkways. garden ideas

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