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Garden Path Spring Special

Let a new garden path put a spring into your step! Explore a range of ideas for garden paving, edging and stones for paths with the Turnbull paving team.

There’s nothing as pleasing in landscape design as the sight of a garden path inviting you to an arbour, bench, secluded dining area or hideaway cabin. So if you are considering a revamp of your back garden or front entrance path this spring, some thoughts about its width, surface and edging will pay off before you get stuck in.

First steps

Of course, there are some essential practicalities for any path installation or renovation. Our first question has to be: is it in the right place? A fancy diagonal might look great on paper but if everyone simply skips over the grass to cut a direct line, you’ll just get annoyed. Likewise, dogs are never great observers of human intentions and will trot their way through flower beds and over lawns whatever you do. It helps to be generous in your design - wide paths mean visitors and kids are much less likely to take short cuts! Wide paths don’t have to dominate - you can use planters and soft planting within the path to break up its profile.

Paths using block paving or natural stone slabs

Block paving is a very flexible and versatile paving option for paths; the small size of the blocks means you can create all kinds of layout designs. It's designed for driveways and so makes excellent garden paths for high traffic areas like the paved entrance areas leading to front doors or side access routes. Manufactured paving often comes in a tumbled, worn finish so you don’t have to have a path that will take 5 years to blend with the rest of your garden! Try out a free online visual planner and create your own bespoke path design: http://www.marshalls.co.uk/homeowners/free-garden-patio-and-driveway-design-tools/driveway-visualiser

Driveway Visualiser

Granite and sandstone setts are classic path materials. They provide a strong textured surface and an appealing vintage, period feel. However, keep an eye on leading paving manufacturers as you’ll find some interesting new products for paths you might like to consider. Marshalls SYMPHONY Vitrified Plank Paving is a low maintenance garden paving range, allowing you to perfectly recreate the warm colours and texture of wood planks. They make stunning garden paths!

Symphony vitrified plank garden paving

Big natural stone slabs are beautiful, stylish and, depending on the stone and slab finish, can look traditional or contemporary. A path leading through borders and flowering shrubs to a lawned area can look fabulous made from natural sandstone slabs or slate paving slabs. Some of us like a more formal layout but just as popular are single slabs used as stepping stones, surrounded by pebbles and cobbles.

Edging makes a path

A neat path is a joy to behold. It’s a refreshing contrast to the mayhem Mother Nature can wreak throughout the seasons. A paved or blocked surface can be easily swept and maintained throughout the year with a good yard brush and a bit of elbow grease. This is where edging tiles really come into their own. It’s more expense but they provide strong design and an upright edge to control leaves, mulch and run off rain water. We like the traditional look of Victorian rope top edging, but there are some very smart plain edging stones out there if your garden has a contemporary look.

Cobbles, chippings and aggregates make easy paths

Easy to lay gravel paths are an option. Some kind of edging will help keep this material in check unless you are going for a very informal look. There are a huge range of colours and textures available depending on the stone. Think warm Cotswold stone gravels or multi-coloured seawashed cobbles; sharp angular black chippings or sparkly marble. Perhaps a plum or green slate will hit the spot? You could combine different colours and textures and create some gorgeous contrasts. Oh, and it’s nice to know lots of decorative aggregates are by-products from the quarrying industry, which make them environmentally friendly choices for a garden path.

Wood Stepping Stones and Sleepers

Clever paving manufacturers like Marshalls know our love affair with the romance of stepping stones in cottage gardens. They have created stepping stone slabs that look like slices of tree trunk and moulded slabs that replicate wooden sleepers. They have the surface texture and grain of wood, but none of its slippery, crumbly downside! If you want a natural, unobtrusive path that blends with your informal planting or wild bit of garden, then a path made of these is a great solution. Imitation wooden slabs are easy to install and position, but they do need a secure sub-base to prevent tipping or cracking like any other paving slab.

Wooden Stepping stones