River Paths through the Garden

I’ve been creating various posts over the last few weeks detailing how we have renovated our garden from an overgrown wilderness into a productive vegetable plot!

Once the greenhouse and raised beds were in place, we needed to plan how we would link all the parts of the garden together and what materials we’d use to do it!

On our original plans, the paths were very rigid and straight, but this just didn’t fit with how we wanted the garden to feel.

Revised_Garden_1We wanted the area to feel like it had evolved and grown over time, and we’re not ones for formality, so out went the sharp angles and instead we mapped out a series of ‘flowing’ walkways, initially using loads of branches that had been pruned from our trees!

IMG_4677We knew we wanted to recycle some of kind of material from the house or garden to construct the paths, and our first plan was to reuse the surplus of red bricks that were once a chimney breast and porchway in our kitchen before we started the internal renovation, using them either as an edging or in a herringbone pattern for the base of the path, but after some research and several failed attempts, we decided this wasn’t our best plan!

IMG_5938We looked at various path edging options on the internet and in local garden centres, but none of these would fit with the look we were after, until we hit upon the idea of making our own log-roll edging from the hundreds of branches we had been storing for firewood since we cleared back the original overgrowth of the garden!

Logs and sticks waiting to be chopped up and stored
Logs and sticks waiting to be chopped up and stored

With this plan in place, everything came together pretty quickly! My Dad was enlisted (again) to cut the branches into usable stakes and Richard set about hammering them into place!

House & Garden 385 House & Garden 386 House & Garden 391 House & Garden 395We dug down about 10cm so that the log-roll edging was purely ornamental and not having to hold the path together, and Richard lined the base with groundcover fabric to prevent weeds and also stop the top covering from mixing with the mud on rainy days, using the stakes to secure the fabric in place.

IMG_6802 IMG_6806 IMG_7081There were times when we thought we might run out of branches, but we just about had enough to line the length of all the paths!

We’d considered various options for filling the path, and settled on a plum slate chipping, as it’s robust but also looks in-keeping and gave us a contrasting colour between the turf, the patio area and the bark chippings we’d laid between the raised beds.

IMG_7082 IMG_7083 IMG_7085 IMG_7106We’re really pleased with the result, despite our back garden primarily being practical and productive, it gives the whole area definition and a bit of style! A friend of mine, on seeing a photo on Facebook, commented that he thought we’d got a stream running through the garden – and that’s how it feels, flowing and natural!

IMG_7096

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