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