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    A COMPENDIUM FOR THE DRY GARDEN

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Decomposed Granite Paths

With summer here, lots of do-it-yourselfers will be hunting for info on Decomposed Granite.  I have many posts on ‘how-to’ and ‘how-not-to’, including my eBooklets with complete installation information.  I’ve found a few more photos from previous installations of mine in addition to those already on my website.  First some paths:

A Decomposed Granite path in a shady location.  Notice the concrete transition just at the outside door so DG is not tracked into house

A Decomposed Granite path in a shady location. Notice the concrete transition just at the outside door so DG is not tracked into house

Decomposed Granite path

Decomposed Granite path.  Notice the edging here

Decomposed granite flagstone patio

Decomposed granite flagstone patio with DG inbetween stones. Pathway is all Decomposed Granite

Decomposed Granite path no hardener

Decomposed Granite path. No hardener was used in this job

Stone and DG

Decomposed Granite path with stone blocks inserted

Decomposed granite path

Lovely Decomposed Granite path under arbor.  This path was done with a TerraPave seal

Decomposed granite pathway

Another arbor

Wood and DG steps

Pressure treated wood contains these Decomposed Granite stairs

Terrapave

Decomposed Granite path with terrapave

I would be amiss if I did not show a photo of how you can mix different fines to achieve different DG colors. Areas of the country have different standard decomposed granite colors.  Here in the San Francisco area, most DG is gold fines, and occasionally like some of the photos above you can find grey.  In the photo below we mixed in some black fines to obtain a darker color.  Elsewhere on my website, I have photos of a rock I used that was more pink.  Rock can be used but it must have fines in it.

Decomposed granite colors

Decomposed granite patio using a creative mix of fines to achieve our color

Now for some patios using decomposed granite:

Decomposed Granite pathway

Decomposed Granite walk and patio

Decomposed granite shade

Another view of the Decomposed granite patio next to a shade bed

Decomposed Granite leads to a deck

Decomposed Granite leads to a deck

Decomposed Granite with a small flagstone shower

Decomposed Granite with a small flagstone shower

Decomposed Granite inbetween properly placed flagstones by pool

Decomposed Granite inbetween properly placed flagstones by pool

Decomposed Granite path at the Getty Museum L.A.

Decomposed Granite patio at the Getty Museum L.A.

The bench sits on a decomposed granite patio which transitioned from the concrete patio in front

The bench sits on a decomposed granite patio which transitioned from the concrete patio in front

For a complete guide to Decomposed Granite paths, pathways, and using other materials such as pavers and concrete, please see my eBook.

California gardens are only a Slice of Paradise

The formality of 17th and 18th century European gardens is a reflection of people’s desire to control their environment and the natural forces around them.  They were still surrounded by wildness.  The comfort of a garden with lines, hedges, and geometric shapes was their safety.

Today people yearn for the natural.  We are surrounded by non-nature, non-wildness.  We all want contact with what we cannot control.

That is why my clients, as a general rule, all say they want a ‘natural’ looking garden.

Having lived in northern California for so long, gardening was my salvation.  I spent my childhood summers in the San Bernadino mountains and backpacked the Sierras and Rockies in my teens.  I always yearned for that feeling of being ‘lost in nature’.  I understood my clients deepest longings.

This week visiting some clients and potential clients, I was pleasantly surprised with some of my installations from last spring.  As a general rule, I need to wait at least 3 seasons to take photos.  But here are a few photos from last years installations with comments below.  Besides, I bought a Nikon P90 and I’m loving it and excited to post some of the photos.  Its really lightweight too so I can carry it in my daypack.

For more information on how you can design your own dream garden see my ebook on Design.

This yard began as a flat rectangle.

This yard began as a flat rectangle.

This is a gravel garden.  See Beth Chatto's gravel garden.  Arbor/fence existing

This is a gravel garden. See Beth Chatto’s book on gravel gardens. Arbor/fence existing

Very small patio with grand view

Very small patio with grand view

Decomposed Granite sunken patio edged with stone and Ryerson's header.

Decomposed Granite sunken patio edged with stone and Ryerson’s header.

Decomposed granite patio using a creative mix of fines to achieve our color

Decomposed granite patio using a creative mix of fines to achieve our color

Decomposed Granite patio with Lots of natives with view

Decomposed Granite patio with Lots of natives with view

Decomposed granite patio with flagstone shower

Decomposed granite patio with flagstone shower

The view from all patios.  These are drought tolerant plants, mostly natives, on an Oak woodland interface

Decomposed Granite steps with headers. The view from all patios. These are drought tolerant plants, mostly natives, on an Oak woodland interface

This is a different property with a great view of SF bay

This is a different property with a great view of SF bay

Plants as Sculpture.  Each pot has a different architectural plant

Plants as Sculpture. Each pot has a different architectural plant

New plantings, the owner choose the chess set.

New plantings, the owner choose the chess set.

Except the small lawn, the beds are all low water, mostly succulents/natives

Except the small lawn, the beds are all low water, mostly succulents/natives