I explained recently in an email to my gardening buddy, sister and best friend Jeanne about how my attitude toward paths has continued to settle on the principle of ease and access. I used to make the paths narrow and discreet, leaving as much space as possible for the plants. I’d get my clothes wet with rain and dew, step on things, nearly fall over, get stuck in bushy dead ends. I tried stepping stones, and would be dancing my way carefully through the gardens, tipping and toeing. No more. I now have nice wide relaxed paths, and have continued to widen them. Here’s a recent photo of the southside path:
In the future, I’d like to add short lengths of low wooden handrails where the garden paths slope, especially in the front yard, so people visiting have something to steady them. And I’d like lots more benches scattered around the garden for stopping to, well, to smell the roses.
I used to think that wide paths were wasted space. But not only are they easier to get around the garden on–they also add something to the whole garden feel and look. They set the plants off, for one thing. The eyes can rest there. Also, they give, at least to me, a feeling like the rest between the notes or phrases in a musical piece, or pauses in a conversation, or moments of quietness in a busy day.
At the moment I’m resting from gardening. The weather is chilly and wet, and I have other work to do. The lilacs I bought yesterday are doing fine sitting in the living room bay window. I gave them a drink of water and will plant them out in a few days. Here are a few other plants out there: