Five Key Design Functions of a Garden Path
The path is often overlooked as a key design feature of any garden. It shouldn’t be thought of as just a way of getting from one part to another, but as something which can help set the tone and style of the whole space.
Compass Garden and Landscape Design provide expert landscape design services in Bath, Bristol and across south-west England. Here we examine some of the key functions which a well-thought-out path can fulfil – and, if you are considering a redesign of your garden, how we can come up with a footway which will meet all your needs.
A Reflection of Style
Your choice of path can reflect your own personality. If you have a tidy mind and an ordered garden, then you should opt for rectangular or square pavers and preferably laid in straight lines. If you want something more informal then try more organic shapes, such as natural stone flagstones or lay down some loose pebbles or gravel.
Sometimes your path can be even more basic. For example, if you want to create a route through a natural wildlife garden, then you can just mow a line through it and let the grass grow long either side of it. And your path can also complement your home – so why not have a red brick path laid down if that’s what your house is made from?
A Plant Protector
Another key function of a garden path is to protect your precious plants. It’s human – and animal – nature to take the shortest available route between two points, so if it’s not practical to lay your paving stones or gravel in a straight line, at least make sure the route you do opt for doesn’t encourage people and pets to take short cuts.
Make sure you can do as many of the gardening chores as possible, such as watering, from the path as this will also help avoid human traffic in the flower beds. Animals, such as cats and dogs, can be encouraged to use your path by laying down a material which is kind to their paws, such as a mulch.
A Human Protector
Paths can also protect people as well as plants, as they can help avoid the problem of slipping and sliding on wet grass. Solid stone and concrete are safer to walk on than pebbles or gravel, and you won’t bring any stray stones into the house either.
However, there are some other design considerations at play here as well. Whatever material you choose, you should make your path wide enough for two people if it’s likely to get a lot of use, and you should also ensure that it’s well lit. Lighting is an important safety consideration, particularly if your path is set at more than one level, and it will also ensure that your enjoyment of your garden isn’t restricted to daylight hours.
A Creator of Zones
A path can be used to create an unofficial boundary within your garden, in much the same way as a trellis or fence can. On one side of your footway you can create a wildlife-friendly garden or something for the children to play in, and on the other side a more formal set of flower beds. At Compass Garden and Landscape Design we also offer a planting consultancy service so we can help advise you on what plants will work best in your soil/climate
A Route from A to B
A path still is just a route to somewhere else – whether it’s to a place of relaxation like a summerhouse, pagoda or seat, or to something more functional. like a compost heap or washing line.
Curved paths work better if you want to take a meandering, contemplative walk through the garden, and lead to a feature like a summerhouse, pagoda or bench. Straight paths are a better idea in areas dedicated to chores, such as those which include washing lines and compost heaps. If you have a lot of washing to take in (sometimes when it’s raining and speed is of the essence) or waste to take to the bin or compost heap, you want the route to be as short as possible.
Landscape Design from Compass Garden and Landscaping Services
Compass Garden and Landscape Design can create a new path as an integral part of your garden, ensuring it co-ordinates well with all the other planting elements. Following initial consultations, we will include it in a full plan, with 3D drawings if required, so you know exactly how it will look. All the work will be carried out by highly reputable local contractors.
As well as our landscape design expertise, which can be seen in gardens across Bath, Staverton, Westwood and throughout Somerset and Wiltshire, we also offer a range of other services. These include ongoing garden maintenance and general horticultural advice.
If you would like to know more, call us on 07920 051549 or follow this link and fill in the online form.