Spotted in Oregon at the Portland Japanese Garden, a staircase of simple pavers that reminded us how much we like a path that incorporates such natural elements as gravel, stones, or moss. We've rounded up a few of our favorites:
Above: Trying to walk down a graduated staircase edged with rocks and moss often feels like trying to navigate an obstacle course. Not at Portland Japanese Gardens, where each comfortably sized paver makes it easy to feel sure footed. Photograph by Blackthorne 56 via Flickr.
Above: Edging a path, a clump of purple heuchera complements the colors of the stones. For more of this garden, see "Steal This Look: Water Troughs as Raised Beds." Photograph by Marla Aufmuth for Gardenista.
Above: Hand cast concrete pavers of varied sizes are set in gravel to create a loose naturalistic look in a San Francisco townhouse garden designed by Alma Hecht. For more, see "Small Scale Gardening in San Francisco." Photograph by Marla Aufmuth for Gardenista.
Above: Portland, Oregon-based landscape architect Karen Ford created a pathway with drainage grates cut into the grout between paving stones.
Above: Underneath Ms. Ford's walkway, a 4-inch-deep, 4-inch slot was constructed to drain water.
Above: Above: The Subterra Permeable Paver offers the look of natural stone with the benefits of a fully permeable paver. Use for patios, walkways, or driveways. Available through Belgard Hardscapes. For more, see "Eco-Friendly Paving Solutions."