Ann & I thought it would be fun to explore in a little depth the opportunities to re-connect with nature and the ways we can all achieve this within our busy schedules.

Recent reports have shown that even a simple stroll in a woodland has beneficial results, as the trees give off a scent that is very calming to us all – the Japanese even have a word for this.

Green entrance 1

We also know that the soil contains beneficial microbes that act in a similar way to anti-depressants – perhaps this is why so many gardeners are happy dedicated folks ?

Our promenade starts at home…. with a stroll around a garden.

Taking a contemplative stroll in a garden is very relaxing
Taking a contemplative stroll in a garden is very relaxing

By adding the artificial stream we created more interest as you walked around the garden.

We added a small stream to flow alongside the path
We added a small stream to flow alongside the path

Many of the gardens we have designed and built contain a pathway to walk around the garden, they are wide enough for two people to walk side by side, usually constructed of a long-lasting, hard wearing semi flexible surface, ( we avoided concrete as its everywhere in the urban environment, and we have found that natural materials almost always look better)

Here the pathway is made of bound limestone and leads around the garden, directly from the brick terrace.
Here the pathway is made of bound limestone and leads around the garden, directly from the brick terrace.

Here the path acts as transition between the shrub beds and the more formal lawn, further over was a fenced in swimming pool.

Path along lawn edge
Path along lawn edge

The amount of traffic, will to some extent dictate the types of finish materials best suited to the task – all will need a sub-base preparation that can withstand the intended loads. ( a reminder for designers).

A lunch break walk, or special trip to the museum , brings a different style of path.

The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art , Sculpture Park
The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art , Sculpture Park

This beautiful pathway was repeated on the other side of the parkland setting

This heavily trafficked walkway above , is constructed of large rectangular pieces of natural stone, with a suitable load bearing base beneath, it is designed for many years of use.

Anyone for Badminton?
Anyone for Badminton?

Some of us are lucky to have offices with roof top garden for us to relax in for a few moments, this one was attached to the staff restaurant in central London.

Wooden pathway on Roof Garden
Wooden pathway on Roof Garden

This Roof Garden walkway is constructed of pre-treated wood and then stained, it’s laid on a spreader system, to allow the loads to be evenly distributed across the roofs entire surface ( one of those engineering requirement when working on a roof). We stained the wood green to soften it’s impact and to add to the whole ambiance.

Back home for a moment , this stepping path acts as a beautiful transition from lawn to path to pond

A little more adventurous, next to a small pond.
A little more adventurous, next to a small pond.

Walking to the rose arbor from the house….

The rose arbor was connected to the house by the pathway.
The rose arbor was connected to the house by the pathway.

Constructed of large wooden pieces, this treated timber, then stained black stepping path has pea-gravel between the pieces so we could add scented herbs , which release their essence as you step on them, the edges of the shingle are stopped off with bricks set between the wooden pieces. Creating a soft, but effective pathway.

Some years ago at a Dutch Floriade we came across this superbly, educational pathway.

A somewhat unusual pathway
A somewhat unusual pathway

Designed so that users could observe nature on the floor of the pond, it was both inspirational and educational.

Almost all gardens benefit from a method to transit from one space to another, here we created a gravel path that took the place of a traditional lawn, serving two main purposes, it significantly reduced aftercare, and reduced watering, yet looked as if it was meant to be here.

By breaking up the gravel path with two angled lines of paving and setting a pergola between the illusion of a larger space was created.
By breaking up the gravel path with two angled lines of paving and setting a pergola between the illusion of a larger space was created.

This garden was only 10ft wide by the shed !

This roof garden, was the subject of an exhibition, so a great deal of work was required to create a suitable pathway around.

Sometimes it is necessary to go to great lengths to create pathways
Sometimes it is necessary to go to great lengths to create pathways

The roof top garden was tracing the history of London’s gardens from the middle ages to the present time – well some 20 years ago.

Here’s how it finally looked..

Museum of London
Museum of London

I’ve no idea how it looks today !

Finally, if you want very low maintenance, it’s best to stick to hard surfaces, like this granite sett pathway..

This granite sett pathway is extremely hard wearing  and yet very rustic looking.
This granite sett pathway is extremely hard wearing and yet very rustic looking.

If you want a softer look , using natural bricks ( as long as they are frost resistant) is another alternative to consider.

Brick makes a very attractive pathway
Brick makes a very attractive pathway

or perhaps for the busy executive, a pathway that’s covered by a pergola on either side…

The pathways are on either side of this beautiful lawn
The pathways are on either side of this beautiful lawn

Hopefully we have inspired you to step outside and wander down to your nearest park, playground or just enjoy outside.

Find out more, listen to the amazing folks that create, tend, are passionate about or just have built these beautiful relaxing gardens, our show is all about the people

To hear our internet radio show Listen here   or our web site visit  Growing Trends Web Site

We would love to hear from you.

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