Garden Path Ideas

Garfield Park Conservatory garden path with blue stones.png
The path in my small urban garden wasn’t really planned, it grew out of
necessity and convenience. Before I started my garden everyone in the
family cut across our “lawn” from the front stairs to the gangway to
reach the side and back of the house. Once I started putting in plants
I noticed that everyone still walked through the yard the same way and
this resulted in plants getting stepped on. When the rains came water
puddled and eventually became mud which people stepped in and brought
into the house. One day my father showed up with a bunch of large concrete
pavers and I took a few to create stepping stones in the garden hoping
that people would step on them and not in mud or on my plants. It has
taken some time and a lot of complaining on my part, but simply laying
those pavers in strategic places has really paid off.

This year, inspired by the hardscaping at the Chicago Flower and Garden
Show 2009
, I’ve been observing paths in other gardens looking for
inspiration. Here are a couple of examples of garden paths I’ve
collected that I like that maybe will inspire you if you’re looking to
create a garden path in your own garden.

The first photo above is of the garden path at the Garfield Park Conservatory. I really like the blue stone and the way it is picked up by the plants along the path, but mostly I like the uneven placement and the way the designated path seems to break apart and dissolve into the gravel. You can’t see it in the photo above but there is blue beach glass mixed in with the gravel that sparkles in the light.

Garden path in Chicago created with reclaimed bricks.png
Bricks were used to create the path at one of the pocket parks/garden I recently visited in Little Village. A better job could’ve been done in installing the bricks but what I like about it is that it uses reclaimed bricks and gives the temporary garden a feeling of having been there a long time.

Garden path made from tree stumps at Chicago flower and garden show.png

The next garden path was created out of sectioned pieces of tree trunks and was part of an instillation at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. Before I used the pavers in my garden I collected a tree stump from the alley near my house because I wanted to create a path just like this. Years later the tree stump still sits in the backyard because A) I don’t own a chainsaw B) I’d probably cut off my leg if I were to get my hands on one. You can click on the photo for a larger view.

Stone rectangles and river stone garden path Chicago Flower and garden show.png

The final example of a garden path I really liked was also part of an installation at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. The garden was called Dancing Stones because of the way you had to skip and across to the path. The design element of this path I liked the most was the river stone incorporated into some of the rectangular slabs.

Do you have a garden path that you’re really proud of? If so, share photos of it on the Chicago Gardeners flickr pool, I’m still looking for the perfect idea to steal, I mean borrow, for my little garden.

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