Create an enticing garden path

It's curvy, fragrant and quick to build―and fringed with all the right plants

Great path

E. Spencer Toy

Click to Enlarge

Step 1

  • How to make a simple gravel path

    Outline the path by laying down rope or garden hoses; adjust them to get the shape you want. 

Step 2

  • Great path

    Dig a 3-in.-deep path channel and edge it with benderboard. Fill with crushed gravel. 

Two days is all you need to install the pretty little path shown above. (The plantings mature in about nine months.)

What makes the scene so inviting? The gently curving path, designed to invite you to stroll among the plants, leads to a small circular patio, and the color scheme for the plants on either side is both fresh and lively.

Drifts of chartreuse euphorbias repeat throughout the borders, while clusters of blue and white flowers add accents.

Soft grasses, aromatic herbs, and silvery foliage fill in between them, softening the path’s edges.


Shape: Unless your path is in a formal garden, a curve will look more inviting.

Destination: Enlarge the path’s end to accommodate a chair and a small tea table, a bench, or even a birdbath.

Fringe: For a natural look, make the path 40 inches wide, and plant groundcovers densely (1 foot or less from benderboard) to cascade over its edges.

Fragrance: Plant aromatic herbs or perfumed flowers along the path to sweeten the journey.


Arrange potted plants to your liking, then dig holes and plant


1. Sedge (Carex albula ‘Frosty Curls’) 

2. Berkeley sedge (Carex divulsa)

3. New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax

Next: plants for fillers and fringe


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