Jump-Start Your Spring Landscaping With These Charming Brick Walkway Ideas

Walkways so charming they'll step up your walking game.

There’s nothing quite as lovely as a brick walkway winding through a garden in full bloom. It’s quaint but sturdy, classic but versatile. Different colors of brick and different patterns give each walkway its own look. You can even lay one yourself with the right tools and some elbow grease. So, if you’re searching for spring landscape and hardscape ideas, stop and consider the beauty of a brick walkway. I’ve rounded up 12 fresh ideas for inspiration.

Line It With Colorful Flowers

Classic Backyard With Brick Pathway

Classic Backyard With Brick Pathway

Purple coneflowers and Black-eyed Susan flowers serve as colorful accents along the the brick paver walkway to the patio.

Photo by: Charleston Home + Design Magazine

Charleston Home + Design Magazine

Simple pathways like this one look beautiful lined with brightly-colored flowers. Choose hardy blooms in your favorite shades.

Incorporate Water Channels

Gorgeous California Terrace With Herringbone Brick Walkways

Gorgeous California Terrace With Herringbone Brick Walkways

The south elevation of this Montecito, Calif., estate showcases a beautiful terrace of herringbone brick walkways and turquoise reflecting pools. The gardens provide a tranquil atmosphere while water transports through narrow, shallow channels that are terraced to create cooling water.

Photo by: Village Properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Village Properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Kick it up a notch by incorporating water channels into your walkway design. Here, the shallow channels feed into a nearby pool.

Use It As a Seating Area Entryway

Brick Walkway Provides Hard Wearing Surface

Brick Walkway Provides Hard Wearing Surface

Brick is a traditional hard surface walkway for gardens and landscaping design.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Make the path that leads to your outdoor seating area just as enjoyable as the seating area itself.

Go Tropical

Brick Patio and Walkways With White Chairs

Brick Patio and Walkways With White Chairs

Tables and small end tables sprinkled throughout the backyard make inviting gathering spots to enjoy the lush greenery and Key West weather.

Photo by: Tamara Alvarez

Tamara Alvarez

Although brick walkways are often associated with cottage style, they actually work well with a variety of design styles. In this space designed by Craig Reynolds Landscape Architecture, a brick walkway cuts through a tropical garden to a patio.

Pair It With a Pergola

Brick Pathway and Pergola

Brick Pathway and Pergola

A pergola helps frame the walkway through this garden. The easy-to-navigate brick path allows maximum appreciation of the surrounding garden. To slow down the transit through your garden, narrow the path a bit. For bike traffic, keep the walkway wide and the inclines gradual.

Photo by: DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide ©2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Consider building a pergola around a section of your walkway to create visual interest and height. Certain types of pergolas can also provide shade.

Pair It With an Arbor

Brick Courtyard With Arbor Entryway

Brick Courtyard With Arbor Entryway

A vine-covered arbor welcomes you to this secluded courtyard in Charleston, S.C. Laid out in a herringbone pattern, the brick pathway winds between rows of well-manicured hedges and past an inviting seating area.

Photo by: Mary Palmer Dargan ©Gibbs Smith, Lifelong Landscape Design, Mary Palmer Dargan

Mary Palmer Dargan, Gibbs Smith, Lifelong Landscape Design, Mary Palmer Dargan

Another structure that can add interest, height and shade to your walkway is the arbor. Arbors are also great for displaying climbing plants.

Opt for a Steppingstone Path

Cottage Garden Nook with White Arbor

Cottage Garden Nook with White Arbor

A brick walkway winds through a cottage-style garden with a crisp white lattice fence and arbor.

A brick steppingstone path can serve as a budget-friendly alternative to the classic brick walkway. You can buy pre-made brick steppingstones and pavers or craft them yourself.

Create a Focal Point

Garden with Fountain and Brick Path

Garden with Fountain and Brick Path

All paths of this charming formal garden lead to a lovely fountain graced by statues. Multicolored flowers of varying heights fill the surrounding garden beds.

Photo by: Mary Palmer Dargan ©Gibbs Smith, Lifelong Landscape Design, Mary Palmer Dargan

Mary Palmer Dargan, Gibbs Smith, Lifelong Landscape Design, Mary Palmer Dargan

If you plan to lay multiple pathways, ensure they all meet at one spot. At the meeting spot, create a focal point with a water or fire feature, impressive landscaping or a seating area.

Narrow + Widen It

Traditional Brick Home with Paver Walkway

Traditional Brick Home with Paver Walkway

The paver walkway narrows and widens, adding interest to the renovated landscape and exterior of a Minnesota home. Southview Design laid out the red brick pavers in a soldier course pattern and selected a lighter tone for the walkway's border. Modular retaining walls with wide steps and landings extend the home's architecture to the street.

Photo by: John Wiese Photography

John Wiese Photography

Your brick walkway doesn’t have to be simple or boring. Consider designing a path that narrows and widens to create interest underfoot, like this path by Southview Design.

Add a White Picket Fence

Cottage-Style Entrance Adds Charm to Ranch House

Cottage-Style Entrance Adds Charm to Ranch House

With a white picket fence covered in vines, this single-family ranch house in Los Angeles has all the charm of a country cottage. A brick pathway leads visitors to the front door, while a traditional roof provides shade from the California sun.

Photo by: JWT Associates

JWT Associates

This one’s a classic, but you just can’t ignore the charm of the white picket fence. This pairing by Jeff Troyer Associates works especially well for cottage-style homes.

Choose Rich Red for a Mediterranean Look

Spanish Colonial Revival Home With Front Courtyard

Spanish Colonial Revival Home With Front Courtyard

An elegant brick pathway leads through lush grass to a beautiful courtyard at the entrance of this Colonial Revival home. The house combines a traditional stucco exterior and terracotta roof tiles and is surrounded by Mediterranean-inspired landscaping.

Photo by: Larny J. Mack

Larny J. Mack

A rich, red brick walkway pairs beautifully with a Mediterranean-style home, like this one designed by IS Architecture. Plus, the walkway looks particularly lovely with a red-tile roof.

Let Your Gardens Shine

Walkway: Charming Country Estate in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Walkway: Charming Country Estate in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

A stroll through the lush and beautiful gardens is enough to call this place home. A brick walkway lined by greenery, shrubs and flowers leads the way to the container garden, which includes fresh foods to cook up for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Photo by: Macdonald Real Estate Group Inc., a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Macdonald Real Estate Group Inc., a member of Luxury Portfolio International

If your gardens are totally impressive, it’s OK to let them steal the show, even if it means forfeiting the clean-cut edges of your walkway. Allowing for some organic growth creates space for beauty and personality.

Green Up Your Thumb: Tips for a Beginning Gardener

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Anyone can have a green thumb. Even if you're a total gardening newbie, our tips will start you out on the right foot.

Start Small

The surest way to become frustrated with gardening is to bite off more than you can chew. Of course, small is a relative term; in an area of, say, only 100 square feet, you can plant a lot more than you might think.

Small gardens are easy to manage, and by starting on a small scale you'll quickly learn gardening basics such as weed control, pest and disease control and watering requirements without being overwhelmed. As you develop more confidence and skills, you can expand the area or create a new garden bed elsewhere.

Start a Compost Pile

Whether you choose to build an elaborate bin and compost on a grand scale, create a simple pile in an out-of-the-way corner of your property, or place a store-bought composter in a sunny spot in the yard doesn't matter. All that matters is that you make compost — and use it, of course. Spread a thin layer over your garden beds at least once a year. Mix it with the native soil when planting. Apply it as a topdressing to lawns. Top off containers with it. And use it to make compost tea.

And, if for whatever reason, you can't make your own compost, you can always buy it. Many cities across the country make and sell compost in bags or in bulk, producing it from leaves and other lawn refuse collected throughout the year.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add Paths to Protect Soil

The use of compost goes hand in hand with maintaining healthy soil, but there are other things to consider. Try to avoid walking on the soil in established gardens, because every step compacts it, and compaction makes it difficult for roots to grow. Create paths between rows or in beds, or place a board on the soil adjacent to areas where you work to distribute your weight more evenly over the soil.

Photo By: Photo Credit: Mary Palmer Dargan

Maintain Soil's Good Health

Also, avoid working the soil when it's wet. Otherwise, once it dries, you'll wind up with big clumps of hard-packed soil. And finally, don't overwork the soil, especially with a rototiller. Good soil isn't powdery; it's a mixed bag of particles of varying sizes and shapes. "Personally, I don't use a rototiller because, in my opinion, the tines disturb the soil way too much," says master gardener and HGTV host Paul James. "And I rarely turn the soil with a shovel. What I occasionally do is loosen the soil with a broadfork, which aerates the soil without disturbing its complex structure."

Photo By: DK - The Complete Gardener's Guide © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Mulch, Mulch and More Mulch

Mulch suppresses weed growth, maintains soil moisture, stabilizes soil temperatures and much more. So do yourself a favor: Mulch everything in sight with whatever organic mulch you like.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Water Wisely

Don't water frequently for only brief periods of time. Doing so causes plant roots to hover near the soil's surface. Instead, deep soak each time you water to encourage roots to grow deep down into the soil. And, whenever possible, water early in the morning so plant leaves have a chance to dry during the day. That will help minimize fungal diseases.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Hunter Industries

Go Native

Native plants tend to be easier to grow, have fewer pest and disease problems and require less supplemental watering. As a result, if you grow a lot of native plants, you'll develop more confidence with fewer hassles.

There are hundreds of non-native plants that are well-adapted to various areas of the country and are easy to grow. Many non-natives, however, are notorious for pest and disease problems or require special care. To learn more about native versus non-native plants in your area, visit your favorite nursery or contact your local master gardeners' group.

Fertilize Judiciously

The right fertilizer applied at the right time can be the difference between a landscape that's struggling and one that's thriving. Especially beneficial for flowering plants, fruits, veggies and any plants grown in a container, fertilizers are also the key to a lush lawn — but too much of a good thing is, well, too much. Follow this guide to find the right balance.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ben Rollins.

Prune With Care

Fertilizing and pruning cause plants to produce tender, succulent growth, which is what bugs prefer most. Says master gardener Paul James: "Who says that plants should be forced to grow faster than their normal growth rate, or that plants should necessarily be pruned in some fashion other than the way nature intended them to grow?" Get more tips for when and how to prune trees and bushes.

Consider Light Conditions

Shade-loving plants, like hostas and ferns, need much less sun than sun-lovers, like salvia and daisies, to thrive and will actually blister and shrivel up if planted in direct sun.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Visit the Garden Regularly

If you spend just 10 minutes a day wandering around your lawn and garden — say, early in the morning with a cup of coffee or right after work — you'll form an invaluable bond with everything that grows. And along the way, you might stop and pull a few weeds, spot a plant in need of water, realize that slugs or aphids are on the move, and so on.

By dealing with those little things each day, you won't be so overwhelmed by the time the weekend rolls around. In fact, you may discover that by tending to your garden daily but briefly, you'll have time for alternative weekend activities.

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