Landscaping paths can be quite expensive, but there are several ways you can build paths throughout the garden that are cost-effective in the short term. Some methods, such as mulch, need to be replaced or refreshed each year, but it will take several years for the cost of mulch to reach the cost of professionally-installed cement pathways.
Mark the edges of the landscape path with garden hoses or lawn paint. Remove the sod from the pathway. Line the bottom of the pathway with weed screen, then cover the weed screen with mulch. Pulverized bark is the most common type of mulch used in garden pathways, because it does not stick to your shoes and is easily refreshed or replaceable. Pulverized bark comes in "wood" or red tones, so you can add color to your landscaping.
Build a sand pathway in your landscaped garden. A sand pathway will last for many years, and you may only have to refresh the sand every couple of years, depending on the weather conditions. If you have extreme weather conditions or your garden floods, you may have to replace or replenish the sand more often.
Mark the edges of the path with a garden hose or lawn paint. Dig out and remove the sod. Put down a layer of weed screen. Put down a layer (about 2 inches thick) of ½-inch gravel. Pour sand over the gravel. Pack the sand into the gravel with a hand roller or by walking on it and stomping it with your feet. Add more sand, until the level of the sand is level with the ground.
Pathway Containing Items
When building a pathway, mulch or sand tends to spread out of the pathway if it is not contained in some manner. You can use pavers (which can be expensive, depending on the length of the path), or you can use edging. Edging comes in different materials and different lengths. Choose an edging that matches the rest of the garden décor and place the edging along the sides of the path to keep the mulch or sand in its place. The edging also helps to keep weeds and grass out of the path.