Some of the most inviting paths and interesting terraces I've seen combine two or more paving materials—pea gravel and cobbles, stained wood and cut stone, brick and tile, flagstone and river rock, mulch and timbers, decomposed granite and marbles. You can edge one with the other, create a repeating pattern, or mix them randomly for effect.
Mounds of heather break up the linearity of this bluestone terrace designed by Richard Dubé for a garden in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Variously sized square and rectangular stones are pieced together like a puzzle, with pieces removed to make room for the plants.
Photo/Illustration: Richard Dubé
Diagonals add interest to a paving design. Tom Vetter used recycled brick to outline a crisscross pattern and combined it with stone and broken concrete. This walkway runs through a narrow garden along the side of his house in Portland, Oregon.
Photo/Illustration: Virginia Small