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16 October 2014
Gardener's Corner

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Paths
20 June 2006

Pic: Garden pathA path should lead somewhere. It is very disappointing to make your way along a path only to have to retrace your steps to the starting point.


Even in a small garden the route can meander around shrubs and through beds to give the impression of space.



If there isn’t space to return through a different part of the garden then make the visitors believe that it could have but you wanted them to see what was at the end of the path. A garden seat will do nicely. After a chat and a rest they will be happy to return especially if some new plants are in vision that were screened from the other direction.


Pic: Garden BenchOther path endings include the garden shed, a bird bath or a sun dial.

Where space allows make the path sufficiently wide for two people to walk side by side. It spoils good conversation if one person is talking over their shoulder to the person looking at their back.


The surface may be tiles or gravel and can be made more interesting if low growing and mat forming plants are allowed to creep over the edge of the path. Creeping thyme will give off a pleasant aroma when walked on.

Pic: Creeping Thyme  - Thymus Pulgeioides
With a gravel path it will be necessary to edge both sides with stones, tiles, bricks or kerbing to prevent the gravel spilling onto the beds or grass at either side.


Paths through a copse or a woodland area can be made of wood chip or bark mulch with a rough timber edge held in place with pegs.


Stepping stone paths made of flat stones or tile slabs laid through the lawn are tempting, especially if they disappear through a shrub bed. Curiosity will make visitors want to see where the path leads. It can be continued beyond the bed and curved back to another feature such as a pond, patio or pergola.


HoneysuckleSmall trees or large shrubs such as Cotoneaster cornubia overhanging the path will add interest. Planting a honeysuckle or clematis to scramble up through the overhead branches will provide a vertical dimension, making sure the walk is anything but boring.




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