I have been going through photographs for an upcoming talk I am giving in Oneonta, NY this winter. In my search for relevant shots, pictures of paths I had taken over the years, started to form a theme. So I thought I would share a few thoughts about the possibilities and magic of paths in the garden.
Paths help you wander, they are a gentle instruction ..come this way…look over here… A path that winds through the landscape, causes a sense of mystery, the turns slow you down by limiting how much can be seen at once. A straight path works best to highlight a specific focal point such as a sculpture, bench, a specimen plant or tree, or a fine distant view. An inexpensive and visually beautiful addition to a path is to lay field stones level to the ground to indicate clearly which direction your path leads. The Japanese have made it an art form on how to best lay the stones based on the natural rhythm of how we walk. A raised path of wooden treads over a marshy land can make an inaccessible area suddenly accessible. The possibilities are endless.