Secret Walkways

Dreamed of creating a secret garden walkway similar to the tracks at Binna Burra or Condalilla Falls?
Creating that dream is a possibility.
Tracks through local State Forests are narrow and usually well shaded. At home, the same conditions are present at the sides of the buildings. Transforming the side walkway into a wonderfully landscaped feature is a simple task.

Step 1
Identify the design type of secret walkway desired. Do you want a rainforest, a shady brook, a fern gully, a Japanese moss garden, etc. Existing shade trees and buildings may impact on the decision.
In South East Queensland it is easiest to create a rainforest understorey walkway.

Step 2
Define the walkway. If a walkway is not already constructed from concrete, then you can expand your options by installing rock pathways, forest mulch pathways or even timber decking platforms. Ideally construct pathways to travel in a slight wavy pattern… this disrupts the sterile feeling of bland straight lines. Remember that pathways in nature are rarely straight.
When dealing with a slope, it is best to incorporate steps made of the same materials as the pathway.

Step 3
Improve the existing soil or import new improved soil. Before laying new soil over old, always lightly fork over the natural soil as this enhances plant development. Good soil at this point will ensure success in the future.

Step 4
Buy the plants. Consult your local garden centre for appropriate plants that suit the design type. Ensure that the plants you choose also suited your district, soil and sunlight limitations.

Step 5
Mulch the whole garden to finish off the forest theme or alternative style.
Water the garden and enjoy the delights as the landscape achieves the secret garden walkway you had envisaged.

Beginner plants for a subtropical forest understorey walkway:
Brisbane lily (Proiphys cunninghamii)
Cats whiskers (Orthosiphon aristatus)
Dwarf palms (eg. Parlour palms)
Spiral ginger (Costus productus)
Zamia fern (Bowenia spectabilis)


Article written by Paul Plant FAIH, freelance garden writer and horticultural consultant. This article has appeared in the Home magazine of the Courier Mail.


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