Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop

– Posted in: Garden Design

Path from house to barn in mid-October 07In our discussion of garden photography last week, we tossed around the idea of starting a series on design-related themes. There seemed to be some interest, so we’re going to give it a try. We’re calling it the Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop, and here’s how it’ll work: On the first of each month, we’ll announce the topic for the month, along with several questions to hopefully spark some discussion. Anyone who wants to participate is welcome to add a comment to our post, or to post on their own blog and then leave a comment here to let us know. At the end of the month, we’ll post our own thoughts on the topic, along with links to the comments and other participating blogs.

We already have a year’s worth of topics lined up and are looking forward to getting started. So, even though we’re not officially starting until November 1, we’ll give you a head start. The first topic will be (drumroll, please)…paths and walkways: the materials you use for your garden paths, the widths you prefer, the most memorable path you’ve ever seen or created, your worst pathway mistake, and so on.Β  Start thinking and gathering photos now, then check back with us on November 1!

Nancy J. Ondra
Nan gardens on 4 acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the firm belief that every garden ought to have a pretentious-sounding (or at least pretentious-looking) name, she refers to her home grounds as "Hayefield." There, she experiments with a wide variety of plants and planting styles, from cottage gardens and color-based borders to managed meadows, naturalistic plantings, and veggies--all under the watchful eyes of her two pet alpacas, Daniel and Duncan.
Nancy J. Ondra

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13 comments… add one

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Layanee October 17, 2007, 7:51 pm

This sounds like fun! Walkways….hmmmm

Kim October 17, 2007, 8:47 pm

I love the idea! I may just have my new walkway done by November, too. πŸ™‚

farmingfriends October 18, 2007, 6:27 am

This sounds like an excellent idea. I am certainly in – I have a walkway that is partly finished but has encountered problems that would make a good discussion.
Sara from farmingfriends

Nancy J. Ondra October 18, 2007, 9:43 am

Welcome, Sara, and welcome back, Layanee and Kim. I think we’ll have a good time with this topic. You’ll have all of November to finish your path, Kim, and even if it’s not done, we’d still love to see it. And absolutely, Sara: Post some pictures and explain your dilemma, and I’m sure you’ll get lots of advice–maybe even some you can use!

Shirl October 18, 2007, 11:21 am

Hi there, Nancy

This does sound interesting πŸ˜€

I will be back in November to see how it is going. If I am able I will try and join in πŸ™‚

fsorin October 18, 2007, 12:48 pm


I love the idea. I always need help in trying to reconfigure pathways, making them more user friendly, prettier, plus adding an element of, well, what I don’t really know…perhaps ‘je ne sais quoi!!’
Am looking forward to it! Fran

Nancy J. Ondra October 19, 2007, 8:39 am

Hey there, Shirl. I do hope you can join us!


Michelle Derviss October 22, 2007, 1:40 pm

Great idea, a blogging design charette.
I have just the perfect photograph of a path taken by none other than Saxon Holt.

Andee Carlsson October 22, 2007, 1:51 pm

I just found this website. I love it. The concept, the ideas, and the photos. Thanks for taking the time and effort to make this happen.

I have been gardening in Mexico for four years, and and still learning. I will post a photo of a pathway created by necessity; kids and adults going down thru a little vale and up to get to the other side of town.

I spend more and more of my gardening time looking at what nature and my neighbors are creating. And less time trying to create gardens like the ones of see in magazines and books.

Of course, I drool over photos, no mater what.
Take care, have fun, Andee

Nancy J. Ondra October 22, 2007, 7:11 pm

Welcome, Michelle and Andee! I’m looking forward to seeing photos from both of you. And Michelle–thanks for teaching me a new word. (I had to look up “charette.”)

Andee Carlsson October 24, 2007, 3:44 pm


I just added a couple of posts re “garden paths” to my gardening blog (

I know it’s not November (re the garden paths theme), but these aren’t really garden paths.

One is a garden staircase, and the other is paths thru a small family-run mini-hotel, in Chacala, where I live.

Keep up the good work. I like your blog and having different authors and photographers working on it.

Alice J. Nelson November 26, 2007, 7:51 pm

Tried this last night and must have done something wrong. But I like your site. Right now I am planning a walkway through ashade garden that is still in the design stage, a fairly dry site with high thin shade. I’m thinking narrow, winding, stepping stones, etc. Plenty of stones up here, all kinds and sizes, so it’s a matter of desiding which will look best in a woods setting. I don’t use concrete, unless it is with patio brick. This is quite a large home of antique white brick with a faily large area around it There is a poor water source so we use plants that can cope with that. This summer we replaced a sloping lawn with 90 flats of low sedum in a mosaic pattern, outlined with white stepping stones. These also provide my client with narrow walkways between the sedum since he likes to weed. There are four varieties of sedum each with different colored foliage and flowers, as well as bloom times. These survived extreme drought this summer with no watering. I will be looking for plants that can stand light shade and dryness to surround the planned path in the shade garden, as well as zone 4.

Nancy J. Ondra November 26, 2007, 8:05 pm

Hi Alice! You did fine with your original post; it appears in the comments section in another post on this topic:
I left your contribution here too, though, since it’s slightly different. Thanks for joining us!

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