High-Traffic Landscaping

Landscaping a high-traffic area in your yard can pose several problems, but most are easily overcome by selecting the most appropriate plants and substances. While turf grasses are usually designed to withstand high foot traffic as well as using yard equipment, you may want something a bit more decorative to get a pathway or an area where your family walks often.

Ground Covers

While some ground covers are fragile and cannot tolerate significant doses of foot traffic, others are amazingly capable of handling almost anything you can throw at them. As an instance, miniature daisy (Bellium minutum), sturdy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10, produces dainty white daisies around 1-inch-tall stems and can manage being placed in pathways, courtyards or alternative high-traffic places. Other ground covers acceptable for this type of area include Dianthus gratianopolitanus “Petite,” hardy from USDA zones 4 through 9; the aromatic dwarf chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile “Treneague”), hardy from USDA zones 4 through 8; and the purple-flowering “Chocolate Chip” ajuga (Ajuga x “Chocolate Chip”), which is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9.


Gravel is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas such as pathways, boundaries or courtyards. It’s also a good choice for wetter areas that may become muddy. Gravel comes in various shapes, textures and colors that could suit even the most particular of tastes. As it is relatively inexpensive, it may also fit any budget. In general, sharper-edged gravels function well with more modern or formal layouts; curved, soft-edged gravels function well in everyday gardens.

Traffic-Tolerant Plants

If the high-traffic area you’re landscaping requires some taller plants which could manage a bit more roughness than in other locations, a few shrubs and perennials are far better suited than others. Boxwoods (Buxus spp.) Can tolerate a fair amount of traffic without getting misshapen or stems being broken, and they are available in various sizes for your garden. The day lily family (Hemerocallis spp.) , hardy from USDA hardiness zones 3 through 10 (though this depends on variety), which contains tens of thousands of varieties to suit every taste. Day lilies can cope with moderate to heavy traffic without getting too ragged or destroyed.

Mixing It Up

Turf grass may live with just about anything you can throw at it, but you could also mix up the area by setting gravels, stepping stones and ground covers throughout a yard area. Landscaping with plants and hardscape materials which are created to withstand traffic allows you to bring a part of layout into a seemingly hard-to-design location. Low-growing, tolerant ground covers placed between flagstone stepping stones, by way of instance, give a natural, wild appearance to the area. Placing sturdy plants on the outer edges of the high-traffic place can finish your layout and tie the area into the rest of your landscaping.

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