Pavers, plants and patterns for your own royal garden

Sure, Paris has the gardens of Versailles, but Kernersville, North Carolina has the Pattern Garden at the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden. It’s a beautiful tribute to French classical gardens with curving patterns lined with 10 varieties of Boxwood shrubs—seven Korean and three English varieties—and beautifully edged with Pine Hall Brick clay pavers. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)

As the name suggests, the Ciener Pattern Garden, designed by Chip Callaway of Callaway & Associates, is a study in the method of pattern gardening which is defined by 14 pattern elements:

  • Scale, which relates the garden to the environment;
  • Garden rooms, which divide and connect the garden;
  • Pathways, which define what we see in the garden;
  • Bridges, which differentiate garden spaces and create compelling focal points;
  • Gates, which are the portal to the garden;
  • Shelters, which anchor the garden in space;
  • Borders, which separate and make distinct garden sections;
  • Patios, which tie the house to the landscape;
  • Sheds, which add texture;
  • Focal points, which create destinations in the garden;
  • Water, which fully engages the senses;
  • Ornamentation, which creates mood;
  • Containers, which allow artistic flexibility; and,
  • Materials, which add bulk, solidity, and softness to the garden.

(Source for list: Wikipedia)

You don’t have to be a king to have your own pattern garden, and you can start as small or as grand as you please. The Ciener Botanical Garden—whose Kitchen Garden we covered earlier—is a good place to get inspired.

To get to the Pattern Garden, take the Rumbled Cocoa paver walkway from the Welcome Center until you come to a pea gravel pathway that winds its way through paisley islands of beds, planted with bulbs about to explode in spring colors, defined by pavers and shrubs.

Pavers make your garden easy to frame, contain and maintain. Take a closer look at the up-ended pavers to see how easily you can create your own edging in any shape you can imagine. If you prefer a full paver pathway, don’t be intimidated by curves. Pavers can be cut to fit almost any shape, so your patios and walkways don’t have to be rectangles, squares and straight lines.

Right now, plants are just peaking out of the earth, but it’s a great time to prepare with paver projects that will enhance your enjoyment all the more in just a few weeks, depending where you live.

In addition to pavers, face brick is also a natural choice for garden spaces, whether you’re thinking of outdoor kitchens, garden walls or your home’s veneer. The Welcome Center at the Ciener Botanical Garden is good example in white Chesapeake Pearl, paired beautifully with the darker Rumbled Cocoa Pavers. Rustic brick and pavers can give event the newest garden a beautifully aged aesthetic.

To see more images and ideas from the Paul J. Ciener Botantical Garden, visit our Pinterest page. Of course you can visit the garden year round. Learn more, here.