Pathways with a plan
Although Elvira didn’t follow a specific plan when developing her garden, she had a clear vision of what she wanted for the pathways. She was totally hands-on – not only planning them but laying them herself, with the help of a few assistants. Only the entrance path was professionally redone three years ago.
“It’s really not that difficult to do it yourself,” she says. “And you can save a lot of money.” Here’s her advice:
• I found using a hosepipe to play around with the shape and curves is helpful. You can leave it for a few days to think about it and adjust it before you get started.
• I think a pathway with curves is more interesting than a straight or angular pathway. Because you can’t see around the corners, you don’t know what surprises await you!
• Use a spirit level to get the gradient and level of the pathway right. After years of creating paths, I’ve learned that it’s better to put two sleepers next to each other and leave a gap rather than position them with equal spaces between them. It makes traversing the pathways much easier. When sleepers or pavers are put in the right spot and the path needs no further structural changes, your work is done for a long time! One of our pathways was constructed 22 years ago and has never had to be adjusted.
• I place pebbles in-between the sleepers to reduce maintenance; they suppress weeds and look very neat.
• Dwarf mondo grass also works well between pavers in shady areas.
• Low-growing plants look good along a path. Depending on whether it is in the sun or shade, I choose, among others, miniature agapanthus, low-growing Plectranthus, mondo grass and Crassula.
A collection of succulents and cactuses adorns the base of a potted quiver tree.