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Walkways are an important landscaping element people often forget. Adding walkways sensibly connects the various spaces in your yard. Attractive walkways bring doorways, patios and gardens together for smoother transitions.

Consider traffic flow when you select walkway materials. Think about how much traffic walkways will have when you choose construction materials. Concrete is strong and enduring for highly trafficked areas. Gravel offers rustic appeal but may get scattered if many people use the walkways. A professional landscaper or mason will help you select the best materials and dimensions to create a natural traffic flow.

Walkway styles create a mood. Some walkways define a formal path to a front door, garden or pool area. Others offer a pathway through trees and gardens. Formal walkways tend to be straight, well-defined and wide to accommodate heavier traffic. Informal walkways might be curved and narrow to bring travelers through various scenic areas of your yard.

Use walkways and gardens to replace a traditional lawn. Create a low maintenance backyard oasis using a combination of walkways and gardens. Small trees, shrubs and flowering plants can replace green grass. Walkways guide you through the different gardens. Include fixtures such as bubbling fountains, garden swings and stone benches where you unwind as you soak up fresh air.

Add borders to walkways for eye-catching appeal. Some walkways are basic flagstone paths over grass to get you from one area of the yard to another. Bring eye-catching appeal to simple walkways by adding a border of flowering plants or lush shrubs. Edging makes walkways appear manicured and keeps lose paving materials intact.

Light up walkways to find your way. Remember walkways might be used at night as well as during the day. Light up walkways using decorative solar lighting. The daytime sun powers the lights so they illuminate walkways after dark. Other options include lampposts and lanterns for an old-fashioned feel. Adding lights also makes walkways safer to avoid accidents in the dark.

Walkways are the ultimate finishing touch for your front and backyard. They direct traffic and make your outdoor environment more welcoming.