16.6.09

The Best Garden Pathways

Boxwood Garden Pathways

This is the time of the year, summer, glorious summer to spend time outdoors. Renew, refresh, get inspired. Visit your favorite garden or park, or dream about making your garden a little more special. I love gardens with pathways that invite exploration. Gardens that make you want to meander, to spend time and to contemplate the finer things of life. I love all the different colors of green in gardens. You don't necessarily have to have color in flowers to make a garden pop. Try different textures, shapes, and colors of greens. A well placed statue or urn gives the eye a place to focus and center on. A water feature can add a cooling element, and a splashing fountain can be a calming and soothing to the soul. Well designed gardens with meandering pathways with well placed plantings and focal points are truly works of art using nature as the canvas.

Garden Pathways
Garden Pathways

Lavender Garden Pathway
Lavender Garden Pathway
Smell the lavender as you walk down the gravel path to the fountain with lily pads awaiting you.
I imagine that this pool is filled with Koi and that there is a bench or comfortable seating on
the other side to sit and contemplate.

  Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway
What a feat of design this elliptical planting between the slate pavers is.
A well placed statue draws you to the end of this pathway.

Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway
Still there are moments when the shadows fall And the low sea of flowers, wave on wave,
spreads to the pathway from the rosy wall Saying in coloured silence,
"Take our all; You gave to us, and back to you we gave.
Vita Sackville-West

This beautiful arbor (above)is supported by a brick wall. It reminds me of the gardens that English poet and novelist, Vita Sackville-West created at Sissinghurst Castle Garden. In April 1930 Vita Sackville-West and her son, Nigel, were looking for an old house where she could make a new garden. Vita fell in love with Sissinghurst Castle and bought it, along with 400 acres of farmland. She spent the next 30 years planting and designing the layout of the garden using the walls & buildings already in place. She was also the first to plant an "all-white garden" because she wanted the color of the flowers and foliage to act as an illuminating factor to prolong the daylight hours and hence to be able to extend the time she could spend in the garden. I spent a delightful summer, several years ago, reading her book: Garden. The gardens at Sissinghurst that Vita so lovingly created, are now part of the National trust and are open for public viewing.

villa san michele Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway Villa San Michele, Capri
The house was small, the rooms were few but there were loggias, terraces, and pergolas all around it to watch the sun,
the sea
and the clouds -- the soul needs more space than the body.

Reading this poem just makes me sigh and relax. It is so true that "the soul needs more space than the body" and how wonderful to recharge by spending time strolling under this pergola and hearing the soft crunch of the pea gravel under your feet - A thing of beauty is a joy forever! Excerpt by Axel Munthe from La Strada della Dolce Vita

 Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway

Garden Pathway Photograph David Duncan Livingston
Garden Pathway Photograph David Duncan Livingston

Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway

Garden Pathway  
Garden Pathway
The best garden pathways can be the simplest, like this cut grass pathway above.

Garden Courtyard Pathway
Garden Courtyard Pathway
Pea Gravel Pathway Bulgari Hotel Milan
Pea Gravel Pathway Bulgari Hotel Milan  
I love the use of old brick for garden pathways. Old brick has a character and charm that is hard to duplicate with new materials.

Garden Pathway michael van valkenburgh associates1
Garden Pathway
Garden on Turtle Creek, Dallas TX, (above and below) was designed by renowned Landscape Architects, Michael van Valkenburgh.
The backbone of the garden is a continuous path of varied walking surfaces and garden pathways that flow from the house down the slope.
The meandering stainless steel planks are hollow underfoot altering the pace of the walk through the garden.
A brilliant juxtaposition of materials!

Garden Pathway michael van valkenburgh associates
Garden Pathway
Garden Pathway Versailles
Garden Pathway Versailles
And who is not in love with the beautiful gardens at Versailles.
The French really take their strolling in garden pathways seriously!
Some of my most memorable and refreshing times have been spent in gardens
walking their beautiful pathways while taking in the sights and smells around me.

What makes a perfect garden pathway for you?
Please leave a
comment and let me know.

PATRICIA GRAY INC is an award winning interior design firm writing about lifestyle and
WHAT'S HOT in the world of interior design, architecture, art and travel.
2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

42 comments:

  1. Beautiful gardens and so serene!That second to last photo is simply stunning. They are so inspirational! Thank you!

    Charlie

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  2. This post just made me realize just how AWFUL my own property looks. I shall try to make horticultural amends this week-end. I swear I will.

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  3. robyn3/6/08

    Love the photos you chose for this post, wonderful : )

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  4. Wonderful inspiration! I always have a hard time deciding between formal and wild informal gardens - I love them all.

    -Lana

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  5. totally reminds me that i have to work on my garden over the weekend - i've been slacking.

    the images you have up are gorgeous, such an inspiration!

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  6. Anonymous4/6/08

    Really great post pictures, Patricia. I could almost see doing the figure eight one if you leave a gap in your stones and put in plants.
    sara

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  7. These are all amazing gardens. I think any well designed home or building needs a well landscaped garden and yard to complete the look.

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  8. What a nice collection you've got here. I recently did a garden post myself (check it out if you'd like!) There is something so peaceful about a lush garden, don't you think? I love the stone pathway in that second image...like it's a secret passage.

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  9. When I see these gorgeous gardens, I always wonder, "Who lives here?" and "Do they use these amazing spaces?" I then imagine how I would live and use the space myself. Weddings, parties, quiet walks and time for solitude. Thanks for sharing.
    Love,
    Henri

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  10. Dear Patricia,

    nice to hear from you and with a great post.

    I am a true garden fan, but I like to keep my own simple with some surprises less expected, like my greenhouse corner. It is not visible until you come very close to it, it's my hiding space.

    I must say the Versailles gardens are spectacular, grand to visit.

    /// Ingela

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  11. Love all gardens, small and large!
    Your pictures are wonderful.
    What makes a great gardenpath for me? It should give me a feeling of serenity and expecting something lovely around a bend, an unexpected vista, feature or maybe water. I love visual surprises. It should be wooded, maybe large rododendron bushes, grasses, flowers and maybe someting to go to like a pavillion or secret seating spot. The Japanese are masters in creating such gardens.
    Our garden is an open corner lot, not really suited for a path...
    Well, maybe one day!

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  12. Garden pathways take a lot of thoughts and effort to create, and maintain. Especially this one, I can only imagine what it took for it to look the way it is now.

    The garden at Versailles, especially, is an oasis. Beautifully planned and executed.

    Nicolette
    http://www.furnitureanddesignideas.com

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  13. I love private gardens. And I love the ones you've show. Perfection.

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  14. Anonymous16/6/09

    I had the great pleasure of visiting Sissinghurst and it has left a lasting impression. I don't think that many people are aware that the white garden started with Vita. Nowadays it is considered trendy and has nothing to do with the illumination aspect at night. I enjoyed reading this post and reliving my memories of Sissinghurst.

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  15. Having wandered in Villa San Michele garden,in Capri, with the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea I would say that could be one of my favourite gardens. There are also brick pathways there and surprises (exotic or unusual plants, works of art or simply ivy taking over a path...) around every corner. An intimate garden for the soul.

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  16. Patricia,
    I love these gardens...I would not like to take care of them but they are gorgeous to look at. I can see myself enjoying the little patio garden!
    Blessings...

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  17. To echo everyone who came before me, truly great photos. I especially love, mainly for its element of surprise, the designs using the steel elements - wonderful contrast.

    For me, the crunching sound of gravel beneath the feet and a fragrant blooming vine overhead make a path I never want to end!

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  18. I wish I had a garden with an elliptical path. Well I wish I had a garden (period) - lol

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  19. Mary-Jo Ford Dale17/6/09

    A great garden path for me is one that fills my senses -- it can be a wild untamed path or a very formal garden path, but it must fill me, make me feel alive.

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  20. Again, thank you for such lovely green thoughts.

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  21. Patricia,

    Crushed granite pathways are my favorite because they're quiet. I love labyrinth circle paths, secret gardens, and any garden that keeps the world out.
    When I was taking architectural drafting (for interior design) I also took landscape drafting and a class called the history of gardens. All in the same semester.

    As a designer, this was the most enriching way to feel connections between inside a home looking out, as well as, outside a home looking in. The history of gardens was lots of fields trips to huge estates with large gardens. What an everlasting experience.

    Seeing these snaps reminds me of that experience and enables me to clarify "what it is" about gardens that feeds our soul. It's nature, the ultimate healer, it rights the wrong and mends the broken. We come out refreshed from natures medicine. Just take a look at your pet after a peaceful afternoon being outside together with you. Balanced.

    Thanks you for such a wonderfully full post.

    Bette

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  22. What makes a perfect garden pathway? For me, one that covers all the senses: flowers for my nose; a gorgeous marble statue for my eyes; water gently trickling for my ears; trees bearing sweet fruit for my taste buds; grass touching my toes with a tickle; and for the sixth sense, well, this part isn’t for me, it’s FROM me. It’s the moment , while walking the path, when I say a prayer of GRATITUDE for the gardener... Lausen

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  23. not sure I could pick a favorite - but Versailles? what a walk that would be!!!!
    missed you lately!!!

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  24. Hi Patricia!
    Love the gardens! Always such interesting and fab posts! Hope all is well! Take Care!~

    xx
    Michelle
    Zuniga Interiors

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  25. After visiting so many gardens in Italy, I don't even try to replicate what I have seen. Our front garden is a work in progress; peach coloured rocks with a pathway of round pavers with lavender all along the path. The path leads to the vegetable garden - it's wonderful to stroll along in the evening while enjoying a glass of red.

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  26. wow, beautiful dreamy gardens! Really amazing. They're definitely not low-maintenance though.

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  27. Beautiful and perfectly serene. I loved the one in Dallas and old bricks somehow always look good in a garden

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  28. Anonymous18/6/09

    I have enjoyed all your pictures of Garden Pathways, especially liked learning about the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle. My favourite garden pathways are pea gravel as I love the sound they make.

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  29. I like walking in the forest on moss pathways.

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  30. While garden paths of most any sort are lovely, I think my favorite will always be the traditional English garden...either cottage or formal.

    Thanks for collecting and sharing all of these images with us. They are diverse and beautiful.

    Tricia - Avolli

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  31. The images of gardens are really good.

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  32. Petra from Sweden29/6/09

    I really do adore the stairs going through, what looks like a jungle of green. Wonderful!

    All my best- Petra/Designfragment

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  33. These are beautiful gardens. I saw some of the most amazing gardens when I was last in Morocco. Thank you for this post! Stunning!

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  34. These are beautiful gardens. When I was last in Morocco, there were amazing gardens in the city of Agidir. These pictures brought me back to those wonderful sunny days. Thank you!

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  35. To have such space to have English Gardens like that would be heavenly. Rolling lawns of the greenest grass, there is nothing nicer than just having a garden made up with different hues of green and then maybe the odd slash of white or maybe color

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  36. What gorgeous gardens! I feel more relaxed just from looking at the pictures!

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  37. Jessica from Paris17/7/09

    I Agree...what gorgeous garden pathways. The color green and being in nature always relaxes me. thanks for the beautiful pictures.

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  38. what lovely gardens for leisurely walking....would love to visit....thanks for posting such pretty images...

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  39. The photos are simply beautiful! I, too, am a fan of old brick.

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  40. Your Garden Pathways pictures were awesome! They were all so relaxing. My mom always said "the most beautiful houses are the ones who have beautiful gardens, no matter how small the houses are"

    I love the second pic with lavender and small pool best:)

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  41. Patrick15/9/09

    I really like your post about the "strolling gardens". For me, any body of water makes a perfect garden pathway for me.

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  42. Anonymous28/3/13

    thanks for share.....

    ReplyDelete

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