There is at least some small benefit to having a second set of eyes (my wife) to observe the garden, if for no other reason than to prevent the gardener (me) from going too far astray. No doubt, I must be reined in on occasion, and it is fortunate that at some point in the past my wife demanded that paths be constructed to wind through the garden.
Early in the garden’s development, when considerable planting was being done, there was little foresight in figuring how planting areas would be accessed. Of course, I was and would be happy to stomp through the mud and debris, and if I wasn’t held to the higher standard, I would drag assorted debris into the house. But, as you expect, this is not acceptable, as I’ve heard so many times.
I was informed that paths were required to pass through all areas not covered by lawn, which after three decades is most of the acre and a quarter property. Considering the expense of doing this, and that I prefer stone, the simplest paths possible were constructed from natural, flat stones. The installation of stone can be time consuming or crudely built, so of course I opted for the quicker, less permanent method that has served the purpose well, even while sections of paths have settled or been buckled by roots.
Several small patios are scattered through the garden, all constructed from natural and cut stone, and in case you wonder, there is no continuity of design, with every patio material differing. If I liked this stone today, that’s what was used for the patio, no matter what anyone might think. Certainly, this lack of cohesion is less than ideal in design, but I think hardly noticeable. The client to be pleased here is me, and I am, even if I sometimes worry about the hazard to visitors of path stones that wobble over top of surface tree roots. Before entering the garden, all are warned to watch their footing.