Modern-Style Principles in Garden Pathway Design

If you have a modern-style house with lots of glass and clean lines, you may want your landscaping to reflect the same design principles. The organic nature of landscaping may seem at odds with modern style. However, you can install a garden pathway complete with bordering plants that complement your mod house. The key is to adhere to the principles of modern style.

Manufactured Materials

Modern style actually dates back to the mid-century. Because manufactured products were becoming massproduced, they became popular in the design style. Therefore, man-made materials are ideal for your modern pathway and landscaping.

The most obvious manufactured material for a pathway is concrete. You can have a concrete pathway poured to follow whatever pattern you need. Another option is a series of concrete pavers. Other manufactured materials, such as metal and glass, won’t work well for the walkway itself. However, you can use them as accent materials.


Minimalism is a hallmark of modern design. This comes out with clean lines featuring little adornment. So, if you’re choosing a poured concrete walkway, you’ll keep any borders minimal. For instance, you might have a sidewalk path with simple lights protruding from the edges to guide guests. You could add an aggregate or color the concrete for some added visual interest.

If you choose concrete pavers, stay away from any of the organic shapes. Instead, opt for those with clean lines. Typically, they’ll be square or rectangular, but circular pavers could be charming. You can have them mortared or dry installed. Conversely, you can emphasize the lines of the pavers with simple bordering, say of grass or pea gravel.

Geometric Shapes

In that vein, geometric shapes are common in modern design. You can keep this design principle minimal, as described above. Alternatively, you can get a little creative in how you play with the shapes.

For instance, you could choose to vary the length of the rectangles to create a staggered border to your walkway. Or, you could have the pavers laid so that same-length rectangles nonetheless create staggered edges. Another option is to vary the shapes, say mixing squares and circles for the pathway.

Pavers aren’t the only way to adhere to the geometric principle. If you have a concrete pathway poured, consider having a simple circular or square medallion added. You could even have the medallion stained or dyed to stand out. You can also have the concrete poured into shapes that overlap each other if you need steps in your walkway.

When choosing bordering plants for your path, look for those that feature obvious geometry. Succulents and cactuses are popular in modern landscaping because their rigid edges showcase the geometry of their shapes. You can achieve similar effects with mounds of ornamental grasses. Flowers such as ball dahlia and allium showcase gorgeous circles, too.

Balance and Repetition

Modern style is meant to look deliberate, not organic. Therefore, you want to introduce both balance and repetition into your pathway and landscaping.

With balance, you want to show a deliberate relationship between the walkway and its surroundings. Here’s where your fillers come in. If you have fillers between pavers, they should be encased in a shape as well. For example, you could have a stretch of pea gravel with rigid borders and use the pavers as stepping stones in the midst.

If you’re using pavers, you’ll automatically have the repetition aspect of modern design. Nonetheless, you want to pull this principle through to the landscaping. For example, you could repeat shapes. Say you choose ball dahlia plants. Repeat the circular shape with cactuses or allium flowers.

Take aspects of modern design and put it all together to create a gorgeous pathway and surrounding landscaping that complement your home. Visit the landscaping center at P & L Concrete Products Inc. for all your modern material needs.

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