As a gardener, you have quite a bit in common with the narrator on THE OUTER LIMITS who intoned: “We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical…You are about to participate in a great adventure.”
When you choose routes for your pathways, you frame views within your garden. But you can also impose subliminal speed limits upon those who will wander there. It’s simple, and instinctual: pick paving materials which your visitors’ feet will understand.
Stone dust on a path will encourage forward motion and a vigorous stride. A millstone’s rugged indentations will serve as “sleeping policemen:” they indicate it’s time to slow down, and then to circle within an area that’s been designed for lingering. And, at the edge of moss-covered cobbles which span a garden’s little rill, you’ll come to a full stop, while you consider how to safely navigate this particular part of your journey. Immobile, you’ll look down at the slippery stones, at the sparkle of the water, and at your toes. Your toes, of course, will know exactly how to carry you safely to the other side.
At Iford Manor, stone steps move us from one space to another and force us to slow down.
Rousham House’s stunningly modern-looking rill and strolling paths were designed by Charles Bridgeman in 1737.
Courtesy of nanquick.com
A millstone is embedded in a terrace which overlooks the English Channel, at Coleton Fishacre, in southern Devon. Courtesy of nanquick.com