Clay pavers enhance a beautiful winter garden


It’s January and the Kitchen Garden is chock full of colorful cruciferous and green vegetables. Jade Cross Brussel Sprouts, Champion Radish, Marathon Broccoli, Astro Arugula, Ruby Perfection Cabbage, alfalfa, Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage, Blue Curled Vates Kale and Solid Blue Cabbage are all in their full glory—amid clay pavers—at the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden in Kernersville, NC.

Anyone can enjoy an inspiring stroll through this cold-weather oasis via a winding Rumbled Cocoa paver pathway that demonstrates how brick and gardening are a natural design combination. And it’s an affordable landscape choice for homeowners.

The Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden is a living gift to the community from its namesake, a philanthropic businessman who loved horticulture. Its Kitchen Garden and Patterns Garden were designed by Greensboro, NC, landscape architect Chip Callaway.

It’s a tempting walk through a well-managed garden that makes you want to go home and start digging your own garden.


Vegetables are on display year-round in the Kitchen Garden so each season is a different experience of color. This time of year, the winter vegetables demonstrate how your home outdoors can be lush—and nutritious—even through snow and ice.

The Patterns Garden is made with paisley shapes edged with pavers and various types of Boxwood shrubs. The patterns are defined with pavers split in half in a soldier course. For images from the Pattern Garden, visit our Pinterest page.

Central to the Kitchen Garden is a beautiful and well-placed 19th century sugar kettle, once used to make cane sugar. It makes a serene water feature and adds an element of aged metal to the environment.

The Ciener gardeners here were among the first to use “smart pots” for vegetables. These fabric containers were originally designed for nurseries growing trees. The sacks fit right in next to the earth tone pavers and brick. It’s a great way to plant with portability to move wherever the sunlight goes.

You don’t have to have a grand estate or an expansive public garden to achieve many of these same features and outdoor experiences for yourself. You can create shapely paths and retaining walls made of natural materials that blend perfectly with any garden or landscape.

The palette at the Ciener garden might be called “natural elements” with the deep brown of the Rumbled Cocoa pavers—complemented by the cool tones of bluestone borders —contrasting with the naturally iridescent white of Pine Hall Brick Chesapeake Pearl brick of the garden’s Welcome Center accented with green painted shutters and mahogany stained doorways.

More images from this story are available on Pinterest.






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