Beautiful Garden Paths part lll
A magical space
Curving flagstones lead to a dining terrace tucked into a sloped garden.
The lush plantings include fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum), deciduous magnolias, native ferns (Adiantum aleuticum, Blechnum spicant, and Polystichum munitum), hellebores, rhododendrons, Siberian irises, smoke tree, and yew.
When a gravel path and adjacent planting beds are new, the transition from bare soil to gravel can give the garden an unfinished look.
One solution: Define the path edges with larger stones. As plants grow, they'll tumble over and hide the rocks.
In this garden, lady's-mantle with chartreuse blooms surrounds the stone fountain in foreground, while cape fuchsia (Phygelius) with orange-pink flowers spills into the path.
A crunchy gravel entry is a clean casual foil for plant textures and colors.
Japanese silver grass billows over the basalt wall at right beside climbing hydrangea.
'Maori Sunrise' New Zealand flax in a container punctuates the small pond in the middle while 'Palace Purple' heuchera mugho pine and gunnera fill a bed near the house. Cotoneaster spills onto gravel.
Two-day path project
You can install this pretty path in about a weekend. (The plantings take a little longer to mature; they'll look like this in about nine months.)
The gently curving path invites you to stroll among the plants, and leads to a small circular patio.
A bridge for seasonal runoff
Mix gravel with rocks of varying sizes to add interest in large areas. In the landscaping pictured here, this technique also solved a drainage problem.
The gravel path, edged on the right with 'Libelle' hydrangea and a bank of maidenhair ferns, straddles a cluster of large, flat stones that creates a bridge over a seasonal runoff channel.
Water runs through a pipe hidden beneath the channel's river rocks to a catchment pond at the far end.