One thing that is very important to me in the garden.... is paths. I love paths, whether they are hard surface like rocks or cement... or are soft, like pine needles. The paths can be simply functional... or beautiful... or both.
If you are interested in seeing the first 5 parts of The Small Garden Series, the links will be at the end of this post.
I love paths... and we have a lot of them. :)
When we first moved to our house, there weren't really any at all... just a few stepping stones in the back garden. We changed that. :)
Paths can be beautiful and I love that part, but they can also be so useful.... and that is wonderful for us. I do not like to walk on mud... and paths help that.
Paths also help when there are high traffic areas of the yard because those high traffic areas will eventually wear the grass down... if there is high traffic... it will become a path of sorts. I like to make some sort of path that will hold up under the traffic.
Stepping stones like this are helpful to allow a person to step into the garden bed without compressing the soil. I like to put a few stones here and there when there are areas I wouldn't be able to reach otherwise.
A path could be cement... a sidewalk or driveway.
It could be flat stones that are set level with the ground. My guys have set these into the soil... it seems that all of my guys have gotten practice at setting such stones. :)
The path could be made of landscaping stones you buy. It depends on the look you want, the availability of materials and the amount of money you have to use.
This path has crushed limestone... but it is all covered with pine needles.
Pine needles also make a good surface for a path... and they are nice to walk over as they give cushion and there is a quietness on such a path.
This path has some crushed rock... and lots of weeds... it has been in place for many years and we didn't put a deep layer of rock... and we let this get away from us... it still works fine, but it does need to be weeded. It's on the list. :)
This is a stepping stone path... made from the leftover cement from the making of the flagstone path in other pictures on this post. We pressed leaves into them to make a pattern.
These are flat landscaping stones set into the ground. We don't want to have the mower hit them, so they do need to be set low enough.
More flat rocks... this path has a little path going off from it to go to the water faucet/hose.
More round stepping stones...and others through the garden.
I wanted to be able to walk to my gardens... and even totally around the house... on paths with no mud. Our gardens are spread out all over our property, so this is important to me. It also helped when the kids were small, so that they could go out to use up some energy, even when it was wet... and not get muddy (usually- although sometimes that mud just beckons boys! :)
On the other side, we have more weeds to deal with, but the more urgent thing on our list is to get the garden beds planted.
The crushed limestone has worked well and has been in for many years and the weeds have only become quite a problem in the last year or two... I still love our walkways... they help so much.
The flagstone paths are probably my favorite. :) You can see how we made them here:
Making A Flagstone Path
There are so many possibilities for making pathways... we have gotten many of our flat rocks for free... scavenged... or from craigslist. We have also gotten landscape rocks from garage sales or Craigslist. Rarely, we have bought them new, but that is an option, if you choose.
These stepping stones beside the yarrow, lead through this little garden.
Another stepping stone... just to give me a place to put my foot to take a step into the garden and not step on the ground... compressing the soil makes it harder for the plants to grow.
Paths are a great addition to a garden, whether large or small.
The Small Garden Series
Small Garden-Part 1-Crop Rotation
Small Garden-Part 2-Growing UP
Small Garden-Part 3-More Beds
Small Garden-Part 4-Companion Planting
Small Garden-Part 5-Signs
Small Garden-Part 6-Paths
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