Pathways are important. Yes, fairies can fly, but what if you have gnomes in your garden? Maybe you didn’t put them there, but you’d best believe they come out of the ground when you aren’t around. According to the omniscient Wikipedia, they are “very reluctant to interact with humans, and able to move through solid earth as easily as humans move through air.”
Anyway, pathways do two things. They allow our non-winged friends to have equal mobility (all about those equal rights!!) and they tie the garden together. Without ladders and walkways, the idea of the garden gets lost and you just have a jumble of buildings and random stuff.
There are multiple ways to create the effect of a path.
The techniques I have used so far are ladders, broken tile, and bottle caps. All of which are very cheap.
Since I prefer my garden to look as natural as possible, for my ladder, I used twigs from the garden and copper wire from Michael’s. The ladder was easy to make and because it stays outside, eventually it will rust and fall apart. Good thing it’s easy!
I often use green wire to secure light weight things in my garden that may blow away in a storm. If you look closely, there is a green wire attached to one of the twigs. The rest is hiding behind and underneath the rock, ensuring that it stays in place.
One imperative detail is that the pathways create enough contrast in color. If not, it won’t be easily spotted and the reason for having a path in the first place is rendered moot.
This fairy garden featured in the Finalists for The Magic Onions 2013 Contest is beautifully made, but the path on the left is hard to see and the overall effect is lost.
In contrast, this fairy garden from the same contest is clean and very clearly marked, giving the garden a complete look.
Both gardens are equally magical and each have their own special features that pop out, but from my personal opinion, the second is easier to look at and comprehend.
Lastly, if you want a beautiful pathway that adds more of a pop than just dirt and stone, I found a tutorial that looks stunning! In the tutorial, it uses clay to make the stones. If you want something that intricate, it would take a lot of work, so I would use lentils or beans rather than making each and every stone. I have yet to try out this tutorial, but if you want to take a swing at it, here is the link. Have at it and let me know how it goes!
Thanks for taking a peak at this post! Feel free to leave a comment if anything struck your fancy!