Monday, December 20, 2010


It’s bitterly cold outside and the ground is frozen hard. There’s not much left to do in your garden and besides it’s no fun in the cold. It’s a perfect time to think about the design elements in your garden and develop a simple plan to make your garden even more exciting for the coming season.
A sense of beauty combined with a sense of humor helps to make a garden warm and inviting. It is far more exciting to become enchanted when you enter a garden than merely impressed by scale or expensive plants. The way you arrange the space in your garden influences its’ beauty and its utility. The garden path often achieves this purpose. Pathways divide the space and direct passage and flow through your garden space.

Light-hearted stones can show your sense of humor.

Here are a few tips for creating pathways with stepping stones.
1. Vary the size and shape of stepping stones to define key points along your pathway. Begin and end your garden journey with stones that are larger or more distinctive. These entrance and exit stones should be large enough for someone to stand on with both feet. Place a large stone near any “event” or point of interest you’d like people to notice. Smaller stones lead people to the various events and call for them to look down as they place their feet.
2. Choose stones to suit the setting or concept; large rectangular stones for practical areas receiving high foot or utility traffic and decorative and meandering stones for discovery and interest.
3. Be careful with the pacing. Think about the various gaits and strides of the people who will be moving through your garden. Some move slowly and take small steps while others move quickly, taking longer strides. Just remember how frustrating it is to walk down a stairway with a low rise and wide steps. Generally speaking, stones measuring 12-18 inches across should be spaced about 3 inches apart. This works well for most people. Smaller stones can be placed in a right-left-right-left pattern to mimic walking.
4. Get the stone height right. If you place your stones within lawn that needs mowing you will need to place them below the desired level of your grass. In the interior of the garden they should be set at least 1/2 inch above whatever is around them.Any higher and people are bound to trip along their walk.

5. Strive for a sense of seamlessness. Arrange stepping stones for a feeling of rhythm, complimenting the total look and feel of your garden. Fit them together so they feel right, paying special attention to the transitional areas.

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