These are two essential elements necessary in almost every garden and because they are highly visible features it is essential that the design and construction potential of the material to be used is considered carefully before materials are purchased and work commences.

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The earths surface can be vulnerable and fragile especially where human beings animals and vehicles constantly put pressure on it. The natural process of precipitation-water wind and frost can cause erosion. Paths and paving therefore serve a double purpose in that they protect the earths surface whilst at the same time making it comfortable and pleasant to use.

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Paths are the arteries of the garden leading you form one area to another. A well designed path system punctuated with focal points and resting places could carry you around several acres without your noticing the distance you have traveled. Paths also form the lines of communication between the house and garden. They often shape a major part of the layout by indication and underlining the structure and providing framework form which areas spaces and futures can be accessed. Paths can be manipulated in their width thickness colour texture direction shape and flow. Bold lines will help reinforce a string confident design while gentle understated paths may be appropriate in a more informal or naturalistic garden.

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Paving provides the essential link between indoors and outdoors or a level platform for relaxing viewing or stepping off to enjoy the rest of your garden Paved areas may also be important for access to maintenance areas or as hard standing for storing equipment. Both paths and paving may combine with bridges boardwalks or stepping stones they can be straight geometric and formal perhaps slicing through the underlying shape of the land or hugging the curves of a sloping garden

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