Normally in homes, narrow paths are reserved for people to access the front yard, backyard or other places. These are what we call walkways or alleys. Walkways and alleys are planned to enable one get from one point to another in the easiest way possible.
With a little planning and effort, you can completely turn around the aesthetic value of a garden or outdoor home passage. If you intend to build your own walkway system, you should forget about all rules and let creativity step in.
From giant rocks to bricks and wood planks, you can have any material you like transformed into an original garden walkway.

However, those who prefer an artificial and plastic appearance, also have their way to go. Tiles, pavers, terrazzo among other new inventions can do. Here is how you can turn your pathways into a beautiful part of your compound:

Using natural stones
While adding value to your pathway, no matter the kind of design you opt to use, mark out the space to avoid extending to where you do not want the design to be.

There are a variety of stones that can be used to give a natural look to your walkway. Among these we have the flag stones, step stones and small or broken stones.

Simon Migadde, an exterior designer, says though they look neat and nice, stones are less expensive compared to other material, stone garden walkways are easy to make.

As long as you have access to stones, you may not even need an expert to assemble them.
Big step stones can form a stair like walkway. Although vehicles cannot be used on this kind of walkway, it looks very stunning, especially when plants are introduced in the stone patterns.

Meanwhile, flag stones can be cut into different shapes that are placed on a cleared surface of your pathway hence giving it a floor like appearance. The same applies to small stones.

If your budget for step and flag stones is limited, just place individual stones in a line, with a certain distance between stones that a normal step can cover.

Green walkways
“I do remember that as we were growing up, the pathways that led to our main house had grass, which would be trimmed quite often and would give the home a natural look, ” narrates Agatha Mubiru. This was a common trend in homes years back, however it has gone on deteriorating since most people do not have time to take care of the grass hence opting for other things.

Green path ways are not limited to the use of only grass, short cover plants can also make beautiful looking pathways. A combination of grass, flowers and stones at the edges of the pathway can be a brilliant idea of decorating a walkway. Some of the plants include brass buttons, sedum, and creeping thyme.

Just like in the stone pathway, here you may not require an expert. What you need is digging the soil, adding manure and then start planting. If it is in the dry season grass should be watered. You should avoid stepping on it in its infancy. The commonest grass used in Uganda is the paspulum because once it gets the required treatment, it will spread like a bush fire.

However, green pathways can easily wither or get destroyed, especially if they are used by a lot of people during the dry season.

Wood garden pathways
Wood garden pathways are cheaper alternatives than concrete, and you can create a more natural look with sliced tree trunks. It is just a matter of slicing it to a dice shape and place it on the ground just after digging the surface as it is in when using stone.

It will even look more stunning if some spaces for plants are left. However, you can also do it the exotic way by using timber or other kind of dried wood, which can be stacked together to form a path way. Such a kind can easily wear out since it is affected by rainfall and even ants.

Pavers
Pavers are not natural stones. They come in different shapes and sizes. Most people prefer pavers because, once installed, they do not need care. It is a bit tiresome to install but once in place, it is worth every sweat.
“The bigger the pathway, the more money you will spend on pavers” says Migadde. He adds that, before making a final decision on pathway length and size, it’s best to calculate the price of the pavers. Pavers go for different prices per piece depending on the size.

In some cases, home owners can successfully install brick pavers. Sometimes though, the landscape can prove difficult and require re-sloping ahead of installation. In such cases you will need to hire a professional landscaper for the work. Professional labour costs can take about Shs20,000 per day.

Cement or concrete
Just like the pavers, this is also a common way of designing pathways, it is durable and can last for a very long period of time. However, it is plain because nothing much can be done to make it look admirable. In order to put in place this kind of design, you need to prepare concrete. A combination of sand, water cement and stones.

Working from the walkway’s lowest point to its highest, begin pouring concrete into the space. Roughly level the concrete with the back of a garden rake as soon as you finish pouring. Before the concrete gets too hard, smooth and level the concrete by sliding a board back and forth across the top.

Beauty of walkways
Walkways and alleys are among the many things that can easily be under looked during garden designing. This is simply because such ways can naturally be created as people asses the compound.

Samuel Migadde, an exterior designer, notes that, if you are one who values the work of a walkway and you need the best, you should forget all rules and let creativity lead the way. In the end you will find that your garden looks modern, dependinmg on your choice of wakway design.

Much as walkways should be smooth and safe to travel on, they should also be beautiful and depict the house’s decorative style. They should also fit in right with the garden flowers and plants.

They are great for children to play in and for adults to sit as the reflect on theit day’s work. Sometimes they even lead to secret corners of the garden or back around to the front of the house.

Beauty of walkways
Walkways and alleys are among the many things that can easily be under looked during garden designing. This is simply because such ways can naturally be created as people asses the compound.

Samuel Migadde, an exterior designer, notes that, if you are one who values the work of a walkway and you need the best, you should forget all rules and let creativity lead the way. In the end you will find that your garden looks modern, dependinmg on your choice of wakway design.

Much as walkways should be smooth and safe to travel on, they should also be beautiful and depict the house’s decorative style. They should also fit in right with the garden flowers and plants.

They are great for children to play in and for adults to sit as the reflect on theit day’s work. Sometimes they even lead to secret corners of the garden or back around to the front of the house.

rnalujja@ug.nationmedia.com