I once had a teacher tell me “if you like something, steal it!” Her larcenous ideas were for when you see a dance movement you like, that you should copy it, but the same applies for gardening ideas.
This weekend I went away and saw some wonderful gardens and stole some great ideas. This collection is of interesting garden paths.
This first example is made from timbers and adds to a Japanese atmosphere in front of a very American Colonial style house.
I’m guessing it’s cedar or other untreated hardwood. While one could use pressure treated wood, it would leech some serious chemicals into the ground. I love the staggered line and the grand curve of the path. Since it rained the whole time I was visiting, I didn’t get a chance to see how the wood looks when dry. I’d love to see how that changes the way it looks.
Another path idea I like is one I’ve thought of using in the garden here. I created a path along the driveway and it needs finishing. I love some of the ways people use stepping stones through gravel.
This path has a Japanese air to it as well, albeit a modern Japanese one. Purely coincidence, I assure you. This path is made with perfect squares, but I’m inclined toward irregularly shaped rocks. Unfortunately, I have learned from experience (ahem) that the irregularly shaped stepping stones are irregularly flat on the tops and bottoms and are difficult to lay firmly flat.
The last path is photographed from a formal garden. Although it’s at a non-profit, their budget for materials is clearly higher than mine. They used slate edging stones to divide the gravel paths from the formal planting beds.
Back at home the gravel paths are lined with rocks of all lumpy sorts and sizes but of course my rocks are free since I’m forever digging them up. I can create a similar look with concrete bricks, but perhaps red brick would look better.
I also was noticing that in this formal garden they hardly need to use mulch because the plants are so closely planted together. This is something I am striving for but am really not yet there. This pair of beds is densely planted with lavender.