Oh how I love a great garden path

My favorite of my boards on Pinterest is my "Great Garden Paths" board. I have a weakness for garden paths. There is something so incredibly inviting about a path through a garden. It says, "Explore me," or "Feel free to look AND touch, I'm cool with it."

My favorite garden paths bend around corners, begging you to follow them to see what lies beyond. In my book, a great garden design practically forces you to continue exploring and nothing does that better than a path.

Paths define how intimate a space is by their width. A wide path, by its very nature, is more social and meant to be traversed with company. A narrow path tells you you will be one with the garden.

This is the kind of narrow path I could imagine myself meandering down with a cup of coffee in the early morning. Aren't you dying to know what is around that corner?

Wide and stable, this path is meant for a crowd. I picture a group gathered for a dinner party, cocktails in hand, traversing this path to head back to the house after having appetizers in a scenic spot on the property.


Gravel is a lovely choice for a path. It is easy to maintain and makes the most lovely crunching sound underfoot, but it can be hard to walk on. I think it should be reserved for paths that are meant to be walked on slowly, not rushed down. Cut gravel is better than pea gravel, which can actually feel a little slippery because it rolls around. Of course if you intend to have people walk barefoot on the path, then you have to go with pea gravel, lest you create a torture device for bare feet.


The concrete (or perhaps bluestone) rectangles on this path give it a modern edge, but because it is still undulating, it has a little bit of a rustic feel too.


This path is easy to walk on with stones set in concrete, and well-defined by the red bricks.


I think my favorite paths have a mixture of materials and different sizes and shapes.



My own path is combination of flagstone, bluestone and black gravel (gardens have been added to soften the edges since this photo).


 Some paths are made of unexpected materials. This one is slices of a tree.




Concrete strips with moss in between.
Los Angeles Times photo

I love this wood path.



Some paths aren't so much about the destination as they are about the path itself.


Judy White/Gardenphotos.com photo



This path isn't even meant to be a path.

Victoria Vasilieve photo 


Obviously I have a thing for paths, but I think my favorite of all paths are those over water. What could possibly be more fun?


Apartment Therapy photo



What does your perfect garden path look like?


7 comments :

  1. Thanks for following me on instagram! I love garden paths as well! I love the one with the river rocks, and the one with the mosses.....nice selections!(just followed you on pinterest too!

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  2. I'll follow you down any one of these garden paths, Erin. Thanks for the inspiration.

    We have a flagstone path that runs from the sidewalk up to the front of the house, curving a bit at the top. This will be my second full summer in the house and I'm planning on softening the edges of it by creating a garden that hugs each side of the curve. I'm thinking boxwood for a bit of an edging with hostas and some groundovers behind.

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  3. what a great collection of images. The muscari path/river is always such a breathtaking scene.

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  4. Thank you for the path ideas,I have a load of Re-claimed hand made bricks from an old estate.Could not let them be thrown away.will send a pic. Richard of Norfolk. UK

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  5. I loved looking through the path photos. I am currently making a path through my bottom garden, using re-cycled post rails, and relocated volcanic rocks. Hard work but sooo rewarding at the end of each day, when I look back at what I have achieved. Not sure whether to leave the path in dirt or to cover it something. Any ideas?

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  6. Some beautiful examples. I am linking to you in a post of my own on paths. :)

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  7. Beautiful, and inviting. Thank yoi

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