Some garden and lawn paths are more elaborate than others. Some are fully intended to be features in a landscape in their own rights, while others want to be less visible but still attractive accompaniments to features demanding more attention.
Composition of walkways such as these can vary from just good old gravel to the Chinese Garden wonders of upraised quartz pebbles, painstakingly put into themes and patterns. In this post, we’ll begin humbly and use an example of “just plain gravel” – or, in this case, Decomposed Granite:
Decomposed Granite is a tiny nearly soil-like collection of bits of literally decomposed granite. Common to the Western United States, it can be screened and filtered to produce a product like shown in the above picture which has a uniform and justifiably “soft” look. While it does compact well, it can soften over time and become less dense, and less concrete-like, producing a rather soft surface. It also has the merit of containing pretty much zero organic matter, being a solid rock product, so it fights weed infestations off well. It’s light color lends itself well to a desert environment like Reno.
The earth tone color of Decomposed Granite also lends itself to use as a mulch. With drip irrigation, which is underground and hidden in these pictures, the “DG” tends to act as a protectorate for the soil beneath it including holding just a bit more water, while it discourages weed growth.
Here is a final look at this particular project from the patio where we see not only the pathway consruction consisting of this cool material, but also its use as a mulch:
These pictures were taken pretty much as soon as the construction phase had ended. It has developed a bit since then, naturally. I’ll try and find more recent photo’s which are……hmmm. Not sure where.
What an incredible rock garden! I love the arrangement. So natural, and an artistic drought tolerant composition. I can see that this will only continue to look great over the years as it has great “bones” and a sense of place. Lucky owners of the property to have you create this rock garden with a naturalistic approach. I am reminded of the Japanese rock gardens, and the classic Chinese gardens use of stone. Here you have taken those elements and incorporated them in a dry,western environment, without creating a pastiche of the Asian forms. It feel right in the landscape, and I look forward to seeing this garden over time.
Philip. experimentations with drought tolerance, as you know, are moving quicker. Looking for solutions is a real and admirable goal. The English Model is pretty much dying any more…………..huge swaths of lawn are pretty much on their way out as irrigation becomes more necessary in places facing water issues. And I, for one, love the changes. It means more interest invested in side features, like the mulches themselves and the plantings.
Thanks for your comment, big time. Coming from you, it’s a true compliment!
super interesting product that is definitely foreign to the north eastern US. My guess is that it has a nice crunch sound when you walk on it like 3/8″ gravel….