If you’re asking for the cheapest way to create a garden path, this has to be it. What could be easier than just mowing a swathe of shaved turf through a longer lawn?
Of course, the downside is that you’ll need to cut your pathway very regularly to keep its definition, and it may require a strimmer as well as a mower to create the path. But, on the other hand, there’s no excavation or building work needed — and no materials to buy.
2. Follow the mellow brick road
Clay brick paving has a delightful warm beauty that gets even mellower with age. If you can use reclaimed bricks, so much the better cost-wise. Using the same bricks throughout looks great, but a “patchwork” path has its own kind of charm.
You’ll need to dig a trench where your path will go (a micro excavator from HSS will make short work of that). Then lay down a firm sub-base of sand and crushed stone. Both are readily available in DIY sheds and garden centres. Otherwise, you’re in danger of developing sunken path syndrome when the weather turns wet.
You’ll also need to line your pathway with edging to hold the bricks in place. Again, you’ll find a variety of edging solutions for paving in any big DIY store. Alternatively, simply use end-to-end bricks.
3. Crazy paving is often a sensible choice
Stones or flags broken up into irregular shapes and held together with cement make crazy paving. To get started, prepare the base for your path by digging a trench, putting down a firm sub-base and edging the area before laying a concrete screed. You can hire a superb range of concreting equipment by the day from HSS.
Then bring your jigsaw puzzling skills into play and fit the random-shaped pieces roughly together, embedding them in the wet concrete. You don’t have to be as precise as with a real jigsaw, because you’ll be using damp grout to fill the gaps — but be aware that the bigger the holes, the weaker the path.
4. Go for gravel
A broad gravel pathway between neat stretches of lawn can add a hint of Downton Abbey elegance to your garden. In contrast, a semi-overgrown path with shrubs, such as, lavender feels wonderfully wild and natural.
In other words, a gravel path is a versatile solution that can work in many different gardens (although it’s unsuitable if you have small children, or pets likely to see it as a giant litter tray). That satisfying crunch when you walk over gravel is another big plus, naturally leading to a slower pace. Best of all, it’s remarkably easy to achieve:
· Start by marking out your pathway and digging a 4-inch trench with straight sides and a flat bottom.
· Lay some non-gravel hardcore.
· Line the trench with a strong weed-proof membrane.
· Add edging to keep the gravel firmly in place.
· Rake your path occasionally to keep the surface even and prevent dips, which attract puddles.
Lining rockery-style stones along the sides of a gravel path is an effective way to keep the gravel in place while adding to the natural vibe.
5. Mix slabs with gravel