Walkways That Talk
Have you ever walked up to a home and stopped to see what kind of gravel or cement you were stepping on? If so, it’s quite possible the walkway had a great visual appeal that spoke to you. We will call this a Walkway That Talked. Sure, visual appeal is great, but we’d like a little audio with that too. Listed are a few walkways that just might appeal to you.
Pea gravel walkways provide a satisfying crunch! Underfoot and are especially at home in country and cottage settings. A solid edging keeps stones from escaping, and landscape cloth underneath keeps weeds under wraps. A landscape contractor will charge about $2 per sq. ft. But you can DIY for half of that!
Natural Stone. A flagstone walkway made from quarried stone is unmatched for natural beauty. Local stone is usually attractively priced because it isn’t inflated with shipping costs. So crack open your Geography book... or Google…and learn what types of stone are local in your neighborhood. You can set those beauties about three inches apart and let herbs grow between them. Creeping thyme, oregano, and chamomile are good ground cover options-that release a nice scent when walked on. Or have a ¼ inch grout fill to create a more organized and clean look.
Boxwoods and Brick. There is something about the look of white, red and bright green shrubbery that never seems to fade. This combination has been defining walkways for centuries, and looks especially good in traditional settings but both elements need upkeep. Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a tough, glossy-green evergreen that even looks good in winter- trim it often to keep it under control. With time, brick walkways may settle and buckle; pry out individual bricks and reset them by digging them out or adding new sand.
Mixing Materials. Combining different elements is a great way to give walkways (and the front of your home) personality. Geometric designs bring you eye immediately downward which overall makes your home even more unique. Plastic and metal edging keeps materials from wandering and make sure the design stays in place. You’ll pay $12 to $26 per sq. ft. for this type of customized walkway, depending on the type of stone you choose and complexity of the design.
DIY Spruce UP. Square concrete patio pavers set in sod made a nice walkway but needed a little oomph to add a visual impact, and make maintenance easier! Try setting concrete slabs in groups of squares and rectangles about two to four inches apart and filling that space with red lava rock ($4.50 per bag). Solar walkway lights ($3 each) will enhance the look in both day and night, and finally some happy red geraniums complete the new look.
Now that you have learned a couple new tricks on creating a dramatic effect with your walkway, feel free to explore. Head down to your nearest Home Improvement store! Your design is only limited to your imagination.
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