Wattle Woods Garden Paths
Wattle Woods Garden Path - 2000
The Wattle Woods is a large garden, and needs quite an extensive network of paths. The main path weaves underneath the large wattle and gum trees, through waves of Renga Renga (Rocklilies) and Japanese Iris.
This was one of the very first garden paths I created, and is still in exactly the same place - it's over fifteen years old. Amazing! Though the Japanese iris didn't last quite as long. I quickly found that Renga Renga was a much nicer option for mass planting in dry shade.
The path surface has been mulched several times, and there's a small nuisance (Creeping Charlie) which constantly needs to be weeded out. The Renga Renga produces little seedlings which are easily scooped up and potted. Rocklilies need to be tidied up every now and then - I usually divide them up and replant the pieces every three or four years.
Wattle Woods Path
Various side paths connect the lawn to the fence-line gum trees, providing ways in, out, and through the Wattle Woods. Another little wiggly path ducks around the Camellias, behind the glass-house, and pops out by the glass-house door. The plantings in here, especially the rugosa roses, grow far too big, though, and this path is often unusable in the height of summer.
Side Wattle Woods Path - 2007
Paths are always allowed to change position in the Moosey Garden. The Head Gardener's philosophy is that it's usually much easier to move the path than a plant which is blocking it.
The Head Gardener tends to plant big things far too close to paths, having read once in some silly gardening book that having plants spilling over the edges was a romantic look. Hmm... It's not so romantic tripping over wet flax leaves. To safely negotiate any of my paths one needs to develop a shuffling-foot motion...
In the winter of 2006 there was extensive tree damage, and after the great clean-up a lot of exciting new garden space was created. Ooh, goody! The Wattle Woods had opened up.
So I laid one of the newer little paths exactly where a gum tree had fallen. I liked the shapes that the garden now divided itself into. Suddenly the older rhododendrons were given much more focus.
The Wattle Woods
But the main route, which starts at the top by the water race and trundles slowly down towards the pump house, still stayed put. Sometimes it was widened, or maybe a curve had to be realigned to accommodate a favourite Astelia or Pseudopanax. Who was the silly gardener who planted those things far too close to the path, anyway? Hmm...
Path to the Fenceline
I can still remember how easily it was created, with big river stones for the edge. I had to spread out the heaps of compost which were sitting on the fence side. Gradually more and more garden plants were shifted in. It's nicer if a main path has garden on both sides, after all! The New Zealand native Renga Renga was an inspired choice to plant along the edges, too.
Always On the Move
In 2007 a modification - actually a rather serious wiggle - was needed to get around a pair of small ponds, and the lower parts of the path completely changed course. I'm not actually sure if I've got it right yet - a path wanderer will get stuck in the Pittosporums, and may not be sure how to get out!
Lots of Foliage
There's lots of foliage to enjoy underneath the huge Wattle trees, and I love being able to get close-up to my favourites. So, naturally, several more little paths connect this spot with that. Sometimes they work well for a few years, and then have to be decommissioned, usually because the shrubs have grown rather too well!
The Wattle Woods
One of my latest paths is a delight - it meanders past large species Phormiums, through the woods to the fence-line, and crosses over a little stream. Non-Gardening Partner has built the cutest little curved footbridges to help the path-wanderer over the water.
Pump House end of path - 1998
The End of the Line
Apart from a few new wiggles, the main path still ends in a very obvious way at the Pump House by the big irrigation pond. But there's more! A new little path - the newest of the new paths - creeps from this end, behind Pond Cottage, and back to the main path. I've been busy building up the soil and planting Agapanthus along the edges. And in my mind's eye I can see some tough rugosa roses, their flowers reaching high into the Phormiums and Olearias. That might be a good task for this coming winter.
This final photograph is from the archives, taken at the end of the main path. You're looking back towards those crazy leaning Wattle Trees.
One thing's for certain - the Wattle Woods paths will always be on the move. Because there are so many little corners and tiny side paths, and so many large foliage shrubs and trees, the whole area of the Wattle Woods would be very easy to get lost in. Imagine, wandering around in a continuous loop for hours, getting nowhere...