Paths & Walkways

“No single element in the design of a garden is as important as where you put your paths”

Hugh Johnson

Paths provide access between the various elements of a home and garden, and at the same time, organize the space and define its purpose.

They can range from a simple packed-earth trail or stepping stones to paved walkways with low groundcovers between the stones to more formal paved walks with mortared joints. The width and materials used will determine the purpose and importance of the path, and should be appropriate to its use.

Curved or offset paths are often more interesting, integrating better into the surrounding landscape, as well as, providing mystery and the illusion of greater distance.

So, both the practical and aesthetic aspects need to be thoroughly addressed to achieve the most satisfying results.


Corinne Roosevelt Robinson (1861-1933)


THERE’S a path that leads to Nowhere
In a meadow that I know,
Where an inland island rises
And the stream is still and slow;
There it wanders under willows,
And beneath the silver green
Of the birches’ silent shadows
Where the early violets lean.

Other pathways lead to Somewhere,
But the one I love so well
Has no end and no beginning—
Just the beauty of the dell,
Just the wind-flowers and the lilies
Yellow-striped as adder’s tongue,
Seem to satisfy my pathway
As it winds their scents among.

There I go to meet the Springtime,
When the meadow is aglow,
Marigolds amid the marshes,—
And the stream is still and slow.
There I find my fair oasis,
And with care-free feet I tread
For the pathway leads to Nowhere,
And the blue is overhead!

All the ways that lead to Somewhere
Echo with the hurrying feet
Of the Struggling and the Striving,
But the way I find so sweet
Bids me dream and bids me linger,
Joy and Beauty are its goal,—
On the path that leads to Nowhere
I have sometimes found my soul!

[Corinne Roosevelt Robinson was the sister of United States President Theodore Roosevelt.]