The Garden Pathway

Form Follows Function

The design phrase “form follows function” was first attributed to architectural structures,
but the concept is valid whenever design comes into play…
even when designing a Garden Pathway.

When we think of pathways winding through a garden or landscape, we envision a cool, peaceful stroll while our senses take in the beauty and aroma of flowers and plants around us. But these paths can also be useful. They provide air circulation, form natural plant and people boundaries, and give access to maintenance. While most pathways have a set beginning and an end-point, the line of travel is optional. It can form the quickest way from here to there, or take the explorer on a contemplative stroll past a focus point or vista. Pathways help us relax and take in the beauty of our surroundings.

A pathway can be both functional and aesthetic. It’s the perfect medium for designers who practice the art of form follows function design.

FORM refers to how it’s built.

Is the walkway straight or curvy? Flat or rolling? Is it built with stone, shells or mulch? These answers depend on the professional assessment of several factors, including the existing property, grade, soil conditions, structures, and much much more.

FUNCTION refers to the purpose of the path.

Does it provide direction through the garden, prevent stepping on fragile plants, keep feet dry and soil from becoming too compact? Can adding a path through the landscape help protect sensitive ecosystems?

Design of a well-functioning pathway is the art of balancing the variables. It can take time and patience, but a well-designed garden path makes for a more enjoyable and useful landscape. Paths encourage us to experience the magic of nature more fully.

Would you like to explore adding paths to your landscape? Visit our website to learn how we approach Landscape Design, or call (772) 546-2861 now to request an on-site visit. 

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