CHOOSING PLANTS TO USE BETWEEN WALKWAY PAVERS
Adding a stone or concrete paver walkway to your outdoor landscaping can add an element of elegance to your outdoor living space. Rather than stone or sand, spacing walkway pavers a bit wide gives you the opportunity to create a subtle “garden.” Tucking plants between the pavers can soften pathways, break up your hardscape, add in permeability providing better drainage, and make your walkway feel like a lush living garden element.
Choosing the right ground cover to add between walkway pavers can help to define your space, and add color and texture to your landscape. When selecting ground cover plants look for species that are low-growing, resilient, and can tolerate foot traffic and bounce back relatively quickly. Make sure you consider species that can thrive in the light and moisture conditions of your site.
Taking a creative approach to fill the gaps between walkway pavers can be fun! Whether you’re looking for a soft plant that is comfortable to walk on with bare feet or a fragrant plant that fills the air with delicious scent with every step, here are some great species for your consideration. But first, let’s look at some creative options for planting in and around walkways.
STYLISTIC CHOICES FOR PLANTING WALKWAY PAVERS
There are many different approaches for planting walkways. In California, the cool, mild temperatures in the Bay area allow homeowners a wide variety of exciting choices. For example, consider placing succulents like colorful echeveria between steps, or pavers. These rosette forming plants add an interesting visual element to your landscape. If they grow tall stalks or impede foot traffic, echeveria can easily be rooted for additional stock.
Consider choosing plants that echo your home’s color scheme. If your home features soft botanical colors, you can plant ground cover like “silver carpet” a low growing ground cover or blue star creeper that can break up your walkway with color, and tie into your home’s exterior paint scheme.
Mixing species between pavers, along a fence line next to pavers, or using one species for the space alongside pavers while choosing a complimentary species for between pavers can create a beautiful look that is artistic, colorful, and elegant.
POPULAR LOW-MAINTENANCE GROUND COVER SPECIES
Whether your yard enjoys full-sun, is cool and shady, or anything in between there are plenty of low-growing, ground cover choices that can help you to create the perfect walkway. Some of these tough ground cover choices can be aggressive spreaders and may become invasive. This can be important in the California Bay area, so check with your local hardscape contractor or landscape supply company before your plant.
BABY’S TEARS (SOLEIROLIA SOLEIROLII)
This plant is native to the Mediterranean region and is an excellent choice for beds that a dappled with shade and moist soil. Baby’s tears fils the gaps between pavers and features small mounds of tiny button-like foliage. From a distance it resembles moss giving your garden path a romantic look. Baby’s tears is a bit delicate, so it’s best planted between edging pavers away from heavy traffic. It’s a low growing plant (4 to 6-inches) and spreads laterally to form mats.
CREEPING THYME (THYMUS SERYLLUM)
Thyme is perfect for sunny California Bay area gardens. It’s a small perennial herb that comes in many different variations all with tiny fragrant leaves ranging from dark green, to lime green and even gold with white edging. This is a tough, durable plant that can grow in difficult soils from sandy to heavy clay. It tolerates infrequent watering.
BLUE STAR CREEPER (ISOTOMA FLUVIATILIS)
Blue Star Creeper is named for the tiny star-shaped flowers in the spring. Blue star creeper fills in around walkway pavers to form a springy mat. The plants stay low, growing just 2 to 4 inches making them a perfect choice for filling in low stones without covering them. They can tolerate foot traffic and are great for traditional and cottage style gardens.
GOLDMOSS SEDUM (SEDUM ACRE)
This dainty succulent perennial bears lime-green leaves and yellow flowers in the spring, It’s trailing stems send out new roots as it spreads. Another colorful sedum is Dragon’s Blood sedum which features small, succulent leaves that are dark purple-red.
JEWEL MINT OF CORSICA (MENTHA REQUIENII)
This requires regular watering and forms an inch-high mat of miniature green leaves that look like moss but are incredibly aromatic. If your in a California drought area, Jewel Mint may not be the best choice. When you step on it, it smells like mint ice cream. This is a sun to shade creeper, so it is flexible as well.
IRISH MOSS (SAGINA SUBRATA)
While not technically a moss it looks like one. Irish moss forms a dense carpet of tiny velvety leaves. Typically sold in flats, use kitchen scissors to cut it into strips or irregular shapes that you might need to fill the spaces between your stepping stones.
For best results remember that plants tucked between stepping stones need room to spread out and enough loose fertile soil between the stones for roots to grow. Make sure the gaps between stones are at least a few inches wide to allow plants to establish. Keep them watered until they’re established and clip them back if they cover stones, or move into other areas.
If you’re planning on creating a plant surrounded garden walkway for your Sonoma County home, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-866-287-2837. We can help you choose the perfect ground cover and design the ideal garden walkway to meet your family’s unique needs. Our knowledgeable team members are ready to help you create the outdoor living space you’ve been dreaming about!
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K, services East Bay and South Bay homeowners. Our Santa Rosa, CA location at 1619 4th Street Ste 12 can help you with your North Bay hardscaping projects.