Walking up the brick path to the front door, you can see a well defined path on the left leading through an open wire fence. It just makes you want to go there. This path is made of decomposed granite, also known as DG. It is easy to lay down, and weed resistant. In this case we added a stabilizer to the granite to make it even more sturdy.
In the picture below you can see how we leveled the area and put a weed barrier down first. We did the same treatment for both DG and Redwood Bark paths.
The path leading into the garden, is more informal and we used Redwood Bark. It looks like it belongs in the garden, but still leads you through easily and safely. The curve of the path adds design interest and takes you up the hill with fewer steps.
Paths do much more than take you somewhere. A path to the front door should also welcome you and be safe and clearly defined. A front door gets lots of traffic, from toddlers to the elderly, who may be using canes or walkers.
You want the front entrance to be clearly identified, stable, with no tripping spots and well lit.
Although this path is flagstone, it used large stones, is laid very flat and is clearly defined. It makes a very welcoming entrance.
Paths in the garden not only allow you access to the plants to maintain the beds, but prevent compaction and erosion. Plants need oxygen and water and aerated soil for their roots to grow. Each time you step on the soil you compact it more. After even only a few times, you will find that water doesn’t enter easily, the soil becomes hard and plants won’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need.
Here are examples of simple, easy paths to put in your garden.
In the picture above, you can see small stepping stones in the bed on the left. They are there to walk through the strawberry bed without compacting the soil.
Under the chips in this garden, we laid old sheets and towels to keep the weeds down. I really don’t like using plastic in the garden. Cotton is an organic material that lets water through, keeps the weeds from growing and will eventually break down into soil. Plastic weed barriers just break up into little pieces of plastic that will be there for the next thousand of years. Think twice before using plastic in the garden.
Another example of a beautiful stone stepping path. Easy to lay and beautiful to look at.
3 Responses to “The Path Well-Built”
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[…] Here’s a post I wrote on how to make a simple, safe and sturdy path. The Well Made Path. […]
I have a steep shaded hillside in front of my house that constitutes a rather barren view from our front window. Avis designed a shade garden for this area with a winding path (made of benderboard with fine bark mulch to fill in). The transformation is breathtaking. It hasn’t even been planted yet, but the winding path along with some stone retaining walls for planting beds has transformed an uninteresting view to an inviting one.
I’m a believer – a well designed path leads your eye and beckons you into the garden. The bonus on this one is it was created with inexpensive materials but is still quite beautiful.
So glad to be of help. The path well built is the path well taken.