Strolls and Saunters: Planning Your Garden's Route

A path directs visitors to your garden's best views while also protecting plantings and other features. Here, we share some ideas on how to choose the best route to compliment your garden.

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The main route or pathway through the garden not only links together the different areas, but also reveals views, frames spaces and determines the basic design. For example, a main path laid straight down the center of the garden suggests sophistication, while a curved route snaking through the garden tells visitors that this is an informal space primed for their comfort. A wide, open path offers an inviting entrance, while a narrow winding path, set between tall plantings, adds mystery. Draw guests to the end of the route with a focal point, such as a bench, statue or container.

A primary route will be heavily used, so use materials that are durable as well as consistent with the overall garden style. Remember to consider path edges, too, and how their shape and appearance fit into the design.

Central Paths

A formal design is often built around a series of geometric and symmetrical paths. They are used to frame planted areas and meet at a specific focal point. Formal design is fairly strict, so it's is a good choice for you if you want your garden to look orderly and strongly designed.

Bisecting Garden PathsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Winding Paths

Routes that snake through the plot add a flowing sense of movement and an air of intrigue. They can be used to move around key elements, or draw them together, as well as reveal unexpected surprises around turns, curves and corners.

Winding Walkway Adds Garden DimensionEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Diagonal Paths

Setting a path on a diagonal allows the garden to be viewed along its longest line, drawing the eye away from the back boundaries and creating the illusion of size in small spaces.

Diagonal Paths Bisects Garden AreasEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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