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