|The transition between a rustic wooden bridge and hazelnut shells|
adds interest to the journey
My design, Kirkland, WA
Paths are irresistible as they lure us along the trail to a destination, often partially obscured. Consider Dorothy on her yellow brick road or Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole! Pathways offer us an opportunity to influence the experience of the journey by the choice of materials and the manner in which they lead you from point A to point B. Straight paths suggest a sense of urgency whereas a meandering route is more leisurely and encourages exploration of little garden ‘moments’ along the way. (We’ll take a look at ideas for such features in another article).
|Hazelnut shells lead the way |
into a woodland garden
My design. Kirkland, WA
|This well designed stepping stone path leads past |
a water feature to a small seating area beyond.
Stepping stones are easy to install and can be lifted to provide access to underground utilities if necessary. The spacing of these is important – after all you aren’t suggesting a game of Hopscotch! Using one oversize stone or two medium ones side by side at the start of such a path gives a sense of importance.
|Who can resist stopping to read these bricks?|
Rister-Armstrong garden, Dallas, TX
|Diamond sheet panels |
continue the theme
|Concrete slabs suit the|
If you would like more ideas on how to design gardens including pathways to suit various functions I highly recommend Home Outside by Julie Moir Messervy (author of The Not So Big House). Invaluable to designers and keen homeowners alike, this book takes the mystery out of landscape design principles with great illustrations, photographs and an easy to read text. I have re-read it many times and always learn something new.