Sometimes people install paths almost as an afterthought – “what’s the quickest and easiest way for us to get people from the back door out to the lane?” But here you have an opportunity to create a whimsical place that takes you and your guests on a journey. Here are some ideas to inspire.
1. Winding Stones
This path marries the winding improvisation of nature with a touch of regularity, like a spine or centipede. The magical effect is heightened by the contrast between green and white that serve to focus your eyes on the length of the walkway.
2. Order out of chaos
The overall checkerboard effect of stone against the greenery makes you want to hop around and perceive this fantastic scene from different angles. The unique landscape provides an almost perfect balance between natural and cultivated beauty.
3. Follow the Brick Road
Using different shades of brick firmly set into parallel lines helps create contrast with the rest of your surroundings while also giving the pathway more character. Put in some planters or little bushes along the side to break up the landscape a bit and you’re in good shape.
4. The Bench Mark
Putting in a bit of furniture and a sophisticated design at one or more spots along the pathway helps you create “way-stations” that allow you to focus people’s time around particular physical features. This is particularly useful for longer paths in bigger tracts of property, where you want to create oases along the way.
5. Using height
Color and texture can make your pathway stand out, but another trick is to life either the edge of your path from the ground. This is especially useful if you’ve planted flowers or a garden and want to really distinguish the two areas so you don’t have people trampling on your growing area.
6. Unexpected Materials
To really break up a natural scene, add some custom objects at regular intervals along the pathway. Individually, these blue upside-down jars would look out of place, but placed in parallel rows, they help provide order to an otherwise overgrown and slightly-intimidating path. See what you can pick up or recycle and be creative.
7. Hemmed In
Colorful bushes along either side of the path can be extremely effective for keeping people on the straight (or winding) and narrow, away from the rest of your lawn. These can take a bit of work to plant and maintain, but once the colors are in bloom, it can look great.
8. Step it up
Create a low-elevation staircase like one that might divide a kitchen and living room. This works great if you’ve got different parts of your garden or yard that you want to divide up and provides opportunities for flowing water features as well.
9. Swirling with ideas
The pattern here inspires wanderers to keep moving down the path, but not necessarily in any great hurry. This whimsical design may take some effort to build, but it looks like a labor of love. Play with patterns until you find one that works for you.
10. Get Busy
There are many elements to this pathway, including fencing, an archway, different-colored brick and carefully-selected greenery. It seems complex, but this busy design does hang together nicely. Don’t shy away from a complicated plan if you’re confident that the end result will look spectacular.
Are you particularly proud of your garden pathway? Inspired by what your neighbors are up to? Leave a comment and let us know about it.