Walkways and Paths for your Landscape Design

Nothing adds a touch of elegance to your lawn like a winding walkway. According to sfgate.com, California homeowners who upgraded the landscape design of their yard raised their home’s market value anywhere from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent in 2018. Besides its aesthetic importance, a secure pathway will prevent trips or turned ankles at your next backyard barbecue. If you’re ready to make your landscaping stand out, follow these guidelines to create the perfect walkway.


Exploring Landscape Design Ideas for Your Walkway

Establish a Budget

Planning a budget is crucial when you have a landscape design project. Even though you might adjust your budget throughout the process, you’ll benefit from getting an estimation of what you can afford. The costs of materials, tools, and labor are all worthy of consideration.

Decide on a Concept Design

Before you begin laying your walkway, it’s best to decide on a design idea. This serves as a blueprint for installation as well as allowing you to see how the finished product will look. Inspiration can come from anywhere: feel free to visit our online gallery to find your favorite walkway style. You can even get customized concept designs, meaning your pathway will be both original and ideal for your needs.


How Many Options Are There?

Walkways can be built in any shape from a range of materials. If the sheer number of choices seems overwhelming to you, the following tips might help you narrow down your options.


Your walkway’s shape depends on its functionality and location. A straight, wide path makes a powerful and formal statement, while curved paths are more playful. Straight paths are a great choice for the walkway at the front of your home; on the other hand, curved paths create a free-spirited atmosphere for your garden. You can further emphasize the shape of your walkway by lining it with hedging or railroad ties. Walkways may also need to be tiered if there are enough elevation changes along the path.


The most popular pathway materials include concrete, brick, or pavers made from different types of stone (such as flagstone, cobblestone, or limestone). The most practical building material, brick blends seamlessly with many colonial-style homes. Concrete walkways are robust and harmonize with most landscape design elements. On the other hand, pavers afford much more diversity. Available in a spectrum of colors and shapes, pavers can be used to create fresh, organic pathways full of personality. Although it tends to shift due to erosion, pea gravel is inexpensive and easy to replace. Choosing a building material depends on your personal preferences as well as considering each material’s pros and cons.


The pattern of your walkway can range from intricate designs to simple rows. Brick patterns include jack-on-jack (grid), running bond (offset grid), herringbone, and pinwheel. Many people get creative with their walkway patterns and receive breathtaking results. Whatever you decide, it can be a good idea to arrange your materials in a demo pattern to make sure you’ll love the finished product.



Once a design plan is drawn up, you can begin building your walkway. Before you start, you may want to brush up on California’s building codes and buy safety gear such as dust masks and safety glasses. First, the shape of the walkway needs to be determined — straight paths are carved out with stakes, while curved paths are outlined with hoses. You will then need to excavate the top layers of dirt inside this outline. You’ll need to leave enough clearance so that the pavers sit slightly above the ground. A level will be necessary to maintain the correct slope for the walkway; if possible, use the natural slope of the lawn to your advantage.

Walkways usually involve three layers: a base layer of packing material or panels; several inches of sand; and the pavers on top. A piece of 2×4 lumber or hand tamper is used to level out the sand. Once you have a smooth surface, you can begin laying the pavers. If the pavers need to be cut to fit into the walkway (especially if it is curved), a circular saw with a concrete or diamond blade will do the trick. Once the pavers are laid, you should put down spiked edging to hold them in place.

Finally, use a plate compactor to tamp polymeric jointing sand in between the pavers. Any excess can be swept away with a push broom. Repeat the tamping process until the paver joints are filled. Then, hose off the walkway with water to activate the bonding agents in the sand.



Keeping your walkway in prime condition calls for minor upkeep. Even if you laid down a weed barrier, weeding might be essential to keep paver joints clear. Over time, grime can accumulate over the walkway. Using a pressure washer might be necessary to remove excessive stains, but scrubbing the pavers with a wire brush and mild cleaning solution usually works. You can also apply paver sealant every few years to add another layer of protection and revitalize the paver colors.


Decorating Your Walkway

Even though your new walkway shines all on its own, decorating it will add personalized flair. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Install Solar Lights

Going outside in the dark can be hazardous. An easy and attractive way to avoid falls is to line your walkway with path lighting. You can choose from a spectrum of LED fixtures, solar lights, and lamp posts. As a bonus, ensuring your yard is well-lit also increases home security.

Plant Flowers

A row of colorful blossoms will beautifully complement the more neutral tones of your walkway. Low-growing plants like salvia, daylilies, and phlox will proliferate in any patchy areas. The climate of the Scotts Valley region is favorable for most kinds of plants, but you may need to research how to best care for your flowers.