Is it me, or does the garden path set the stage for the entire garden? I’ve seen a garden path that probably cost more than our home, and yet another garden path that was beautifully simple and wouldn’t cost anything. I loved both.
While looking over photos from the Garden Writers Association conference in Atlanta I noticed a pattern in my photographs. At almost every home I took photos of the garden path which led through the landscape.
This contemporary path features huge cement pavers with (my favorite!) Mexican blue river rock between them. Pros: these large stones and river rocks will not move and will feel good on your feet. Cons: Expensive.
Natural stones with dwarf mondo grass creates a garden path that will look very natural. Pros: you can do a little at a time and it will look fine, this also would work great in shade. Con: Dwarf mondo can be slow to establish.
Large natural stones planted with ajuga is very similar in feel to the previous path with the mondo grass. This combination would work well in slightly sunnier areas and the ajuga will fill in more quickly.
I appreciate the craftsmanship that went in to building this path. The stones are cut, or selected, for very small spaces between each stone so that you won’t need any plants to fill. Pros: this will be so easy to walk on and also to maintain. Cons: Cost!
A slightly more “doable” version. The edging on the outside will keep the outer stones from lifting and makes it easier to use small stones in these areas too. You can see that these are not as perfectly fit together so it seems much easier to build. It will still be costly, however, to bring in all of these stones and install the edging.
I love the sound of crunching pea gravel as you walk on a garden path. This path is kept very neat by using mondo grass on each side to contain the pebbles. Pros: Easy to install, sounds and looks great. Cons: Pebbles may move over time and will need to be raked to keep clean.
Another take on the pea gravel path with a more substantial edge. These stone pavers fit the area and could be modified to any native stone to help establish a better sense of place for the landscape.
Ahh! Beautiful stones with thyme create a stunning garden path. I have a feeling this is going to be an expensive endeavor, but the low nature of the thyme will make it really great to walk on and feet friendly.
One of the most “permanent” feeling paths, this brick and lumber combo feels quite substantial and will be a perfect path for the steps on this hillside. Pro: These babies are not going anywhere! Cons: Time and cost to build these steps. I would consider this a long term investment.
And a unique combination of brick and pea gravel seems to work in this tropical garden. The pea gravel may be some work to maintain, but at this point it looks great.
Our backyard has had several paths in its evolution, from stained glass stepping stones to the natural stone we have today (you can see our stepping stone path project here.)
Our small space probably doesn’t need much to move people throughout. But larger spaces, and gardens that have separate spaces, often need a great garden path to guide the visitor along. How will you incorporate the perfect garden path into your landscape?