5 ways to get a rustic brick path like Monty Don’s – even if yours is new

Love the beautiful brick paths that leads through Monty Don’s garden? Here’s the lowdown on getting the look

Garden path like Monty Don's
(Image credit: Josh Wilburne/Unsplash)

Fellow fans of Monty Don’s garden – and of Monty himself – tell us: do you study every aspect of Monty’s plot? We’re sure we’re not alone in taking inspiration not only from the planting, but all the other elements our favourite gardener has selected for his outdoor space.

The features we’ve had our eyes on recently are the brick paths and steps that lead through different areas of the garden. Why so appealing? We think it’s the soft warm colour of the bricks, and their been-there-forever appearance. It’s a simple rustic look that could easily be copied in your own plot if you love it as much as we do.

Keep scrolling for inspiration from Monty’s garden, and tips on how to get a path like his in your garden. For more charming garden ideas, don't miss our guide. Find out, too, how to build a herringbone path from scratch.

1. Choose reclaimed bricks for a garden path like Monty Don's

If you want the gently aged look of Monty’s path, laying reclaimed bricks rather than new ones can create the look. It’s also the environmentally friendly way to go as you’re re-using materials. You’ll find plenty of reclaimed brick suppliers online, and a variety of brick colours on offer. If you already have a brick wall in your garden, you might want to match to it for continuity, or try picking a reddish brick that harmonises with terracotta planters.

2. Use yoghurt to age new brick paths

Corner of the Jewel Garden Monty Don

A photo posted by @themontydon on Jul 27, 2020 at 11:39am PDT

What if you already have a brick path but it just looks too pristine? Or perhaps you are putting down the path but prefer to use new bricks because the regular shape makes them easier – and cheaper – to lay? Don’t worry, you can still achieve a weathered effect. The secret is yoghurt. Yes, honestly. You just need to dilute it with water then brush it on to the path. Make sure you check the weather forecast first so your solution isn’t washed away in a hurry, though.

3. Make your garden path narrow like Monty's

not many more July paths left... Monty Don

A photo posted by @themontydon on Jul 28, 2020 at 2:10am PDT

One of the varieties of brick path Monty has used in his garden is a ‘wheelbarrow’ path, and it’s easy to copy. As he wrote in the Mail Online, it’s ‘a brick strip down the centre of a grass path just wide enough for the wheel of a barrow and the pair of feet pushing it’. One of these will mean the grass won’t get flattened, and hardened or muddy, depending on the weather, and it’ll lead the eye through the space, too.

4. Allow seeds to grow between the cracks

Nell Monty Don

A photo posted by @themontydon on Aug 3, 2020 at 1:24am PDT

Like the idea of plants growing between the bricks of your path? Monty’s advice, shared in the Mail Online is to skip the mortar between the bricks in your path when you lay it, and simply brush in plain sand. How easy – and time saving – is that?

5. Mix with brick other materials for a Monty Don-style path

Glimpse Monty Don

A photo posted by @themontydon on Jul 30, 2020 at 1:05am PDT

Brick isn’t the only material Monty uses for the hard paths in his garden, and he’s even happy to combine different surfaces. But if you don’t want a harsh contrast, choose a paver in a harmonious shade as above so the change of surface is subtle. Make sure, too, that there’s not a level change where brick and a second material meet to avoid creating a trip hazard.