Backyard Garden Walking Path - Inspiration Online (and in our Neighborhood)
|Source image from here. Not my photo.|
The garden I was walking in (with the paths) was in full sun, so it was quite different than the one you see above, but I picked that image because it is a shade garden and more of what we have to deal with on Hornbeam Hill. Hostas and ferns and hostas and ferns.
The path idea really struck me and made me think about our own landscape plan. I've showed a bunch of cuts/selects of our landscape plan here on the blog, but none of them had a 'walking path'. It wasn't even contemplated by our landscaper. Mostly because I never really thought about it.
But you know what? It is totally something that I want now.
For the record, here are all of the different cuts of the landscape plan that I've posted:
- Canadian Hemlock (a really small one) added to the north fence line. Supposed to be three of them clustered here, but I only planted one.
- A look at part of our southern fence line with Hydrangeas and allium
- One of our rear foundation beds outside of our kitchen
- Close to our screened porch, the north fence line that we put the Frans Fontaine European Hornbeams
- Planting squares on either side of our rear stoop
- One of the most highly-visable areas from our poatio: a shade garden area featuring ferns and hostas underneath a mighty Oak tree that holds up our swing
- The front/northern boundary line (in front of the fence) where we're looking to screen from our neighbors.
But, where could we do something like this? Our yard is good sized, but it isn't HUGE. However, I do think there's a good place for at least a small walk: on the north side from the mighty oak all the way back to where I'm thinking we're going to place our raised bed vegetable garden. See below for the approximate path:
We're thinking of making a second patio area that will (right now) start down by the right side of this cut of the plan. So, the 'path' - as it were - would kind of "start" from there and then allow you to wander back. The raised bed garden would provide a destination, but so, too, would a water feature, right?
Looking at the example photo, I figure the path is about 30" or 36" wide, right? This piece from the WaPo says that paths need to be 24" wide minimum and 48" if you want two-way circulation.
I don't ever envision two-way circulation, but I *could* see our kids using the path - if it connected around - as a sort of 'track' for their bikes and such. That could be awesome and reminds me of some of the best times I had during the Summer in my childhood when we made 'paths' in my parents backyard to ride our bikes around in every day. We totally destroyed the natural ground-cover and even knocked down some small trees to make our paths - and bike jumps(!) - and it was totally worth it.1 My parents allowed it to happen and by the time I grew up, the forest recovered.
If we see the kids using the paths as a play path, then I think we'll have to consider the material we use - too light and it will get spread all over.
1 - Worth it in the eyes of a 10 year old boy.