Tips on path building from an expert with a large garden
use steps to change levels rather than paved slopes. It saves soil and water and plants love to grow around them
I found these tips for path building in a lovely book by Heidi Gilldemeister on Mediterranean Gardens.
Keep paths as horizontal as possible to stop soil erosion and water loss from your garden. Beyond keeping them as level as possible, use an appropriate width for their purpose, whether you will walk abreast, be trundling wheel barrows or other equipment, or just weeding which requires only stepping stones, think of their function. Use paths to create sight lines. These are long axes that give depth to the garden, so that you look down them to a distant point or an attractive feature. Build the paths from leftover materials used in the construction of the house to create harmony. Pebble paths hurt the feet, attractive as they are, while stone slabs last well and railway sleepers look good among pines. Leave a heavy string beneath large stones, until their position is final, for easy shifting.