It should be no surprise to learn the population of Lee County in Southwest Florida has nearly doubled in the last quarter-century. Florida’s many benefits have served to propel the population from 379,584 in 1996 to 770,577 in 2020. As a resident of Fort Myers or one of the surrounding communities, you know exactly why so many people are choosing to call our area home: beautiful beaches, no state income tax, plenty of things to do, and the fantastic sub-tropical weather.
Here in Southwest Florida, we love spending time outdoors. With average temperatures in the mid-70s or higher in all 12 months of the year we spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying our beautifully landscaped yards. Whether shod or barefoot, strolling through your gardens is much more foot-friendly if you have a well-structured path or walkway to travel. Your family members, friends, and visitors will also appreciate the convenience of a walking path. Read on as our expert landscape designers at Peer Landscaping explore the ways we can incorporate a natural walkway into your outdoor space.
Why choose a walkway? Let us count the, er, ways.
Even a professional landscape designer may overlook the importance of a walkway in designing an outdoor space. However, a well-built, meticulously installed pathway can add to both the aesthetics and function of your landscape. The advantages include:
Easy entertaining: Let’s say you already have a patio in place, a refreshing inground pool, or some bricks laid for your barbecue. Placing an established pathway or walkway connects the dots between those areas and the other elements of your landscape, as well as your home. It just makes it easier to get from place to place. You and your guests will enjoy having clearly defined pathways when spending time outside.
Curb appeal: A professionally installed, creative natural walkway is an attractive addition that raises your property value. Better Homes & Gardens writes, “Well-designed walkways make your home feel warm and inviting. For a dramatic improvement to a straight concrete path, replace it with a contoured walkway made of stone or brick. For a less radical upgrade to your curb appeal, apply a colored concrete resurfacer to the old walkway, then edge with brick or stone borders.” Indeed, curb appeal is something Florida homeowners take very seriously, and a walkway made of natural stone is an effective way to address it.
Safety: Whether you’re the one traipsing through your yard or a delivery person or postal worker is approaching your door, using an established path is much safer than just walking through grass. Paved walkways help protect yourself and your guests from injuries that may occur as a result of a trip and fall accident. By installing a walkway, you’ll be better positioned to avoid potential litigation if a visitor has an accident walking through your yard. A solid, professionally installed walkway is the safest solution for any home in Southwest Florida.
Versatility: Looking to create a welcoming area for people to explore your lawn or garden? Maybe you’re wanting to create an established pathway to your paver patio or lanai. Perhaps you want to highlight a particularly attractive area of your yard. A natural walkway adds functionality, beauty, and charm and solves many common landscaping woes. And since there are so many ways to achieve it, you can be sure the walkway we design will seamlessly incorporate into your existing landscape design.
No matter your situation, we are here to help. In short, having your natural walkway installed by trained professionals can turn a good, well-designed walkway into a great one. A successful walkway can accomplish an assortment of goals, such as:
- It makes connected areas more inviting, whether it’s a garden, a seated space or a place to entertain.
- It shapes and defines separate regions of your gardens.
- It serves as a connection, bringing together unrelated parts of your garden to create a sense of cohesion that unites your entire outdoor space.
- It can create visual illusions—a curve that leads to some unseen area, a meandering path that is used to reveal a striking feature, or a path that draws the eye side to side and creates an elongated appearance.
- It also suits the needs of your family and your lawn maintenance. We’ll make sure a primary path is wide enough for two people to walk side by side, or wider if you need it. Typically, the less prominent and used a path, the narrower it can be. We also will install the path to accommodate landscaping equipment.
- Most of all, your professionally designed path will be safe, comfortable and easy to follow.
Natural materials make for the best choice.
You can choose a wide variety of different building materials for your path or walkway. Generally speaking, though, we find our customers are happiest with the result when they choose natural, organic materials, and we love working with natural materials as well.
The award-winning landscape designer Claudia de Yong told LivingETC.com, “Gravel, sand and river rock feel best under the feet, both for animals and humans.” We think that’s true, too and will work to create a stunning natural walkway using any of these natural materials:
Flagstone steppingstones: Flagstone is one of the most popular materials used for walkways. It’s a natural stone that comes in a wide array of colors, shapes and different levels of thickness. Our experts know how to place these stones at the ideal stepping distance so that they remain stable and level on your ground and avoid becoming a tripping hazard or falling risk.
57 stone: This gravel-like material is a crushed stone aggregate that can be employed in several types of different landscaping projects. Unlike gravel, which occurs naturally due to erosion, crushed stone is formed from natural rock deposits and is both angular and jagged in shape. The size of stones ranges between an inch to an inch and a half. It’s a popular choice for many walkways because of its relatively low cost and its availability in a variety of colors and sizes. It’s also a great choice if you want to create an informal look.
87 stone: This is a finer quality of crushed stone, resulting in a material similar to pebbles. Like 57 stone, these pebbles come in a variety of colors. We can lay the entire path to consist of these small stones, or use it as a base for another material, such as flagstone steppingstones. Either way, it’s a great alternative for creating natural material walkways.
Bark mulch with stones: Mulch is one of the most common utility materials used by professional landscapers. It can be used to nourish garden beds, minimize weeds, and create a protective barrier around trees. Bark mulch can also be a great budget-friendly choice for creating a natural walkway at your Fort Myers home. This is more of a no-frills option, bypassing extra decorations and details to create a natural, unaltered look like a forest path. In fact, many homeowners prefer the look of mulch over stone or pebbles.
Brazilian teak wood: Also known as cumaru, Brazilian teak is identified by the rich, warm color of the wood. Brazilian teak is durable, resistant to rot, and relatively less dense—making it rather easy to install and fairly affordable. It’s also a great option for the humid Florida climate.
Pine straw: This straw is gathered from fallen pine needles, which are hand-raked, cleaned and baled. Also used as an all-natural mulch, this vibrant material choice can make for a great environmentally-friendly selection for your natural walkway. When applied by a professional landscaper like the experts at Peer Landscaping, pine straw reduces the amount of water evaporating from the soil and reduces weed growth. Pine straw also tends to stay in place during heavy downpours, so it’s a good option for our climate.
Trust the professionals for your walkway
No matter what type of material or design, you should only trust a professional landscaping company to install your walkway. With so many material choices, it can be difficult to decide what’s best for your home. The designers at Peer Landscaping have experience dealing with all types of homes and yards in Southwest Florida, and we can make a recommendation for the right material that works best for your needs. That said, you may have your heart set on a specific choice, and we’re happy to accommodate that as well.
You don’t settle when it comes to the design of the inside of your house. Why should you need to settle when it comes to your outdoor landscape? We can give you the professional, safe, inviting natural walkway you need for your home, whether you’re located in Fort Myers or one of the surrounding communities in Southwest Florida.
Our designers work with all types of homes and will create a fabulous end result no matter how big your yard might be or other design challenges that may be present. Your property will look great, your property value will increase, and you’ll have an outdoor space you can enjoy fully by the time our team is done.
Are you ready to find out more? Take the next step and schedule a consultation with one of our landscape design experts, by calling the pros at Peer Landscaping today at (239) 645-6455. You also can visit us online to schedule a consultation. Looking for other articles on Peer Landscaping landscape design and process. Please check out our archive articles on CityScoop.