A Garden Path
Paths show us where to go and urge us to explore. One that wends its way also reveals the landscape slowly, building in a surprise with every twist and turn. Bends in the road also put your attention directly on what's in front of you, whether it's the papery white bark of a multistemmed birch or a dramatic natural rock formation.

It's easy to make an informal path amid planting beds or woodland by clearing a swath of land and putting down a layer of mulch, pine needles, or loose stone. This kind of casual paving blends into the surroundings, providing just enough definition to show off the plant material on either side and to keep strollers in line. Keep in mind, though, that over time such surface materials naturally deteriorate and scatter, so you'll have to replenish them periodically.

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