35 pathway examples - some stunning

rosiew(8 GA)May 31, 2012

Hi all, found this while taking a cool-off break from my gardens. I'm inspired, hope some of you will be.

I'd like to know what the plants are in the knot garden design. Wonder if it would stay contained.


Here is a link that might be useful: pathways

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Very inspiring, I love the checkerboard, I was just thinking how much fun it would be to have life size light weight chess pieces and play like that.

That fireplace is very siliar to the one we have in our home design, but ours has an open chamber in the top that heat radiates around with a door and pizza stone :). Nothing quite like charcoal and real wood fired pizza with fresh vegetables...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 3:07PM
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Wiggles. I see wiggles :)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:17PM
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I like the look of the various checkerboards but I think they would be a horrid PITA to maintain.

The wiggles are only bad in a fraction of the photos. Some of the paths are nice but bounded by egregious wiggles.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 4:32PM
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There are a couple of good applications for the often appearing quandry posts on paths through a narrow space, though. Wiggles must satisfy some "need" - but of course when you're on top of it, you don't see it like you do from afar.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Sometimes wiggles are deliberate and can be fun.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:37PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Quite a few strike me as difficult to walk on and/or high maintenance.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:18PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

There are some inspiring path designs in that lot . thanks for the posting.

I especially enjoyed seeing the mosaic path and the checker board surfaces. We've done a couple of checker board style surfaces and depending on the ground cover that you use it can be low maintenance - creeping wooly thyme is one groundcover that we've used and it is cut back into shape about 2 or 3 times a year.

Also loved the staggered stone pathway. We have a pool project coming up where we are using staggered concrete and this image will help the client further visualize the concept we have in mind.

Thanks, appreciated the posting !

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Funny how some are major bucks, others utilized scrap material, and a couple even used the prefab concrete forms.
Most are lovely although the walking surfaces on a few seemed dicey to me.

And the thin narrow strips of turfgrass between hardscape and plants on the left below?
How on earth do you mow such strips?
High maintenance.

Lovely designs are lovely but honestly- I want to revisit some of these homes unannounced sometime a year or two after installation and see how good they are looking then after the borders need edging and the weeds are a poppin'.

IMO a simple, well maintained design is far preferable to a fancy one that a busy homeowner cannot maintain perfectly.
Because these meticulous gardens are all about perfection and when they are not perfectly maintained they simply look messy and busy.

But then I pull my own weeds, LOL.
These guys probably have staff.

I did save the photos for inspiration though, so thank you for the link!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 8:34AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

A couple of words : 'professional gardeners'.
Send a skilled garden crew out to any of these
Gardens and they'll be done before you know it
A string line weedeater in the right hands is amazing.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Stepping stones in water are guaranteed to make me drool... there were also some I didn't like (as the picture above). And the most unusual one, for me, was the ribbon pattern of plants in the pavement (no.9)- it looks horribly expensive to make and maintain, but the effect is stunning. Something fit for a sultan's palace from 1001 nights!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 3:27PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

Glad to know these have been enjoyed by some of you. timbu, you and I love the same ones. And I really wish someone could identify the plants in the ribbon pattern.

cearbhaill, cannot imagine who designed the one you show. Not only is there the perhaps 6" grass strip, but the beds against the house look to be about the same depth. Ugh.

deviant, I did the checkerboard look on the diagonal years ago, used dwarf mondo, looked great, almost no maintainence.

Hope to contact the publisher of these. I think all photos of this type should have some notes. Perhaps they can supply more info.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 8:03AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

It looks like green mondo grass to me.

thanks again for the inspiration.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:43AM
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I love these! We've got an area of bricks, made uneven by a tree removed a few years back, for which we have been trying to think of creative replacements. My husband and I both really like these two:

Do those seem like they'd be high maintenance? What would you recommend planting in between that would be relatively low-lying and choke out weeks? My inclination would be thyme.

Thanks for posting!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:16PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

I love both of these too. Can't make recommendations because of zonal differences. Tell us how much sun you have.

My best recommendation is to talk to someone who knows something at a local garden center. Big boxes have almost no one knowledgeable.

I've had great success with creeping thyme. Mine is in full sun between steps on a hillside garden.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:02PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

You know, I think one should dispense with the fiction that a lot of these photos propagate about ground covers and about stepping stones, one best addressed with the words "professional gardener."

And I say that as someone who just spent two hours outside putting in plugs of ground cover to replace a small area of lawn.

There are two primary nightmares in gardening (at least that are top of mind for me at the moment): one is weeds, the other is edges and boundaries.

The thing about ground covers is that until they grow in, you have to be vigilant about weeds, a vulnerability of every square inch of uncovered ground. Then once they have grown in, you have to start guarding the edges of their territory to make sure they stay within boundaries. Those stepping stones will eventually disappear under each of those ground cover scenarios, including the checkerboards done with grass, unless someone goes out there and trims them. Plants like thyme also eventually mound up and become something you have to step over going from stone to stone, again unless you trim them down annually.

Everything in a yard that is not paved (and believe me, I am judiciously considering the benefits of all paving except beds) needs maintenance, and most of these examples require some tedious work.

If you hire out your garden work anywhere, more power to you :-) If you do it yourself, consider the maintenance work in your selection. Those paving stones in grass were probably just edged... every single edge of every single stone.

Of course, there is up front work vs. future work. Would you rather do that or place all those stones in the second picture, the mosaic?

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:49PM
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Thanks for the input--these seem like good points to consider. I'm dreaming of having a landscaping company come in and do a couple of hours a week of weeding to help us with maintenance, but hubby looks at me like I've grown an extra head every time I mention this idea.

Rosiew, I hear you--I don't think I've bothered asking a big box person for plant advice in about 10 years!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:25AM
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rosiew(8 GA)

PBL_GE, unless you have health issues y'all should be able to maintain. If you use a ground cover like "Steppables", once filled in you should have very few weeds.

I need to recognize that all people aren't weed pulling fools like I am though.

Still wanting to know about your zone and shade/sun in the area you want the walkway in.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:52AM
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I would like to have the one with the two pots of Papyrus up on brick columns

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Sorry, rosie--didn't mean to ignore your question. We're supposedly zone 6 now, but I'm skeptical so will continue to buy mostly zone 5 for a while. The area is probably best called "mostly sunny." Some corners part sun, the middle full sun. I recognize that could complicate matters.

My understanding is that Steppables is a brand that sells a variety of plants that they think can tolerate foot traffic. Presumably this means there's a range of how quickly they'll fill in and suppress weeds. Correct? So, I went over to the Steppables website and put in our criteria. Interestingly, a lot fewer plants showed up when I clicked the box for dog traffic (we're on a waiting list for greyhound rescue); this also eliminated thymus from their suggestions. Anyone got an idea for why that would be? Shallower roots that could be pulled out by their tread? Is this true for all dogs?

Also, I don't tend to select for low maintenance plants in the actual garden beds themselves, meaning the beds usually need a few hours a week, so Karin's suggestion that we think through how much maintenance we want to give to areas that theoretically could be no maintenance seems like sage advice. That said, I've got a bit of a bugaboo about weeding the driveway and the sidewalk these days, so few paved areas seem truly maintenance free, either.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:37PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Grayhounds want to RUN and will wear a track through anything! We dog-sit a lot and have had 4 dogs here at once. The backyard garden is laid out with dogs in mind - lots of paths, especially where the dogs naturally travel (think 'perimeter patrol'...) All our paths are made with 1/3 concrete sand and 2/3 pinebark mulch. Speedy dogs (e.g. Border Collie who is a regular visitor) or dogs chasing each other can leave skid marks and launch gouges :-) but they are easily raked flat again. It might be a good idea to relay your brick paths if you want a neat, formal look; otherwise something easy to maintain like mulch may be your best bet with an active, running dog.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:35PM
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"The backyard garden is laid out with dogs in mind."

What is it for your garden (yard)?

I once made an expensive Japanese garden for someone. There was a waterfall a stream, low plantings in keeping and then they bought a dog. Maybe this was a Zen experience but I don't think so.

In that chicken and egg situation first the pathway should function then it can look good. A pathway to nowhere? ask a greyhound.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 6:11PM
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