Glass Garden Multicolor: Using Glass for Walkways

Glass is an amazing material that arose thousands of years ago from molten sand in the mouth of a volcano. Today it is used in many sectors of human life. Designers and architects are happy to use this aesthetic, eco-friendly and functional building material in their projects, creating expressive “mirror-glass” buildings. Designers have also found application in glass in landscape design.

What is glass rubble?

Glass gravel is widely used in the arrangement of drainage systems, as a bedding when laying slabs for bridges, as well as backfilling of the sinuses of the ground near stone walls. Due to its decorative qualities, glass is often used to decorate flower beds and decorate garden paths. Glass fragments used to decorate the site, of course, do not have sharp edges.

Glass fragments and decorative sand are made in special glass breakers by intensive crushing and friction, in which sharp edges are simply erased

The main advantage of glass is its ability to refract light, so that the compositions created from it shimmer and “play” in the sun. Glass is perfectly combined with plants and at the same time does not do them any harm, since it is a chemically inert material.

The key advantage of this inorganic dumping is a long service life. It does not crumble, does not fade and maintains an attractive appearance for several seasons.

The paths covered with glass chips look amazing at any time of the day, mysteriously gleaming in the first sunshine, playing with all the colors of the rainbow at noon and sparkling solemnly against the setting sun

Glass Garden by Andi Kao

One of the good examples of the successful use of glass rubble in the design of the territory is the work of landscape architect Andi Kao. In one of his projects, Glass Garden at Echo Park, he designed garden paths with crushed brown glass bottles and terraces with transparent granules of green and blue. A grainy glass surface successfully emphasizes the unusual texture of winding paths, ponds and flower beds with exotic plants.

Depending on the weather and time of day, the appearance of the glass granules changes. But still, a glass placer on the tracks looks most attractive after rain

Glass elements of landscape design are perfectly combined with the natural environment, which creates an amazing effect of the penetration of "artificial" into the "natural".

The Italian landscape designer Pino Signoretto used large glass blocks to lay out garden paths, laying out retaining walls

The procedure for designing tracks with glass

Glass paths fit perfectly into the surrounding landscape. Visually linking different sections of the garden, they create a single picturesque picture.

Out of season, glass coverings are an excellent substitute for flowers, and in the season they serve as a pleasant addition

Option # 1 - crushed glass filling

When making tracks, melted glass fragments with a diameter of 0.3-5 millimeters are used, which can be purchased in specialized stores. On average, the cost of such dumping varies in the range from $ 1-25 per kilogram. When choosing material for filling, it is better to give preference to colored glass chips, since against the background of the violet colors of the garden colorless fragments can simply “get lost”.

The only drawback of the material is that it is very problematic to remove wood litter and accumulated debris from the surface.

With colored glass granules, it is better to draw tracks placed in an open area, and not under the canopy of trees

The device of the track made of glass granules takes place in several stages:

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  1. Markup. Using the rope and wooden pegs, we outline the contours of the future path.
  2. Digging a pit. On the site with the indicated border, remove the top layer of soil with a depth of 10-15 centimeters, forming the so-called bed.
  3. Laying geotextiles. We carefully compact the bottom of the pit and cover it with non-woven material, which will prevent glass granules from sinking into the ground and inhibit the germination of weeds.
  4. Registration by filling. Pour a layer of 2.5-3 centimeters of glass gravel onto the prepared base.

The crushed glass dump tends to silt over time. The reason for this is its mixing with small particles of sand and soil. A geotextile layer will help prevent siltation and extend the life of the dump.

Although the scattering of glass granules performs the function of mulch, preserving moisture and driving away snails, but it cannot completely protect the surface from germination of weeds.

Treatment of the top layer of turf with a chemical herbicide such as Hurricane, Tornado or Roundup will help prevent germination through a bed on the surface of the weed path.

If the garden path sags a little over time, then just add a second layer of granules. Caring for such a path is only to periodically rake glass pieces.

Option # 2 - “second life” of glass bottles

A more economical option for arranging tracks involves the use of old glass bottles.

Colored glass bottles can serve as a basis, both for filling the surface of the tracks and for creating original borders

Creating an interesting pattern on the path of bottles is quite simple:

  1. Using the pegs, we outline the boundaries of the future path.
  2. On the intended contour with a shovel, dig a moat, diving half a bayonet.
  3. We fill the dug trench by 2/3 with a layer of dry sand.
  4. We lay out the pattern, pushing the bottles into the sand with the neck down.

When arranging the track, the bottles should be pressed into the sand so that a smooth surface is obtained. When creating patterns, experiment with colors and shapes - the more shades you use, the more colorful the track will turn out. Having laid out the pattern, the voids between the bottles should be filled with soil or sand.

To give the path laid out as even as possible, take a level board and place it on the pattern laid out from the bottle bottoms. Walk on the board several times. This will evenly distribute the load over the entire surface.

An excellent framing of glass paths will be low flower beds from drought tolerant plants and succulents. These plants are able to benefit from the proximity to glass and are not afraid to get burned from a lot of glare.

Small stones of arbitrary shape, laid out in rows, can also act as a border for such paths. They will be in perfect harmony with the surface and give the track a complete look.

Thanks to such luxurious paths, even the most unremarkable site can transform into glass multicolor

Excellent if there is an opportunity to highlight the glass surface. With well-organized lighting, a path flickering in the rays of street lamps will become the real dominant of the landscape.


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