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#1 of 1 Old 05-24-2004, 06:48 PM - Thead Starter
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Visiting an awe-inspiring museum or a peaceful nature preserve is always more fulfilling when you have a knowledgeable guide to show you the important details and help you find your way around. A good guide has spent most, if not all of their life at this attraction and is willing and eager to show you these wonderful new places. Guides can be indispensable.

Now . . . imagine if you had your own, personal guide that presented the best parts of your landscape to it's visitors. They would point out the best sitting areas and the secluded pond around the corner. Sounds like something only the richest of the rich could afford, right? Surprisingly, you can have these guides in your garden: they come in the form of paths and walkways.

Paths and walkways complete many functions in your landscape to help guide your visitors. As their main feature, paths and walkways in your garden create a designated space for people to walk upon. Not only will paths keep people from tramping about in your flower beds, they will also provide a more stable surface for walking, especially during those rainy afternoons when you have to make a dash to your front porch. You are certainly more likely to slip and slide while running through your wet lawn than down a concrete walk!

Paths and walkways also direct the visitor where to go. A good example of this is the front walk that most houses have. The front walk invites people up to the front door of the home, which is usually where you want your visitors to come when they arrive. You can use this same effect in your garden by leading your visitors to the more interesting places of your yard, like a secluded sitting area or a children's swing set.

Along the same lines, you can also use paths to steer people away from unsightly or more unusable areas of your landscape. By using paths and walkways to showcase the best parts of your landscape and downplay the more mediocre areas, you have the ability to display the best view of your garden to it's visitors.

If you have a huge expanse of turfgrass or an oversized flower bed, using a path or walkway to break up those areas can make your landscape much more pleasing to the viewer's eye. These large areas can look monotonous, so directing the viewer's eye with a well-placed informal path through a bed of azaleas or a nice walkway of flagstone through turfgrass can make the view much more interesting. Having a path in these areas also direct the visitor where they can walk through to get to a different area. Make sure that the path or walkway does lead somewhere, however; you don't want to send your visitors down a dead-end walk.

When it comes to materials to create a walk or pathway, you are only limited by your imagination. For a very formal look, you can work with materials like brick, tile, flagstone, stamped concrete, or other material laid down in a clean, symmetrical manner. For a more informal look, consider materials like gravel, mulch, flagstone, wood, or even a small strip of turfgrass. An informal path is usually enhanced by an asymmetrical flow and design. Of course, you are not restricted to any of these materials or styles. You can create paths out of metal, plastics, or even soda bottle ends. Just make sure that your style and material component of your path blends in with the style of your surrounding landscape.

Carefully planned paths and walkways in your landscape help provide better footing for your visitors, help guide your garden visitors through your yard, and help to break up your garden into more visually appealing sections. With many different types of materials to choose from, your walkways and paths can have any look that you desire. Once you decide the location and the look you want your path to take on, you will be well on your way to having your own personal garden guide in your landscape.

Carrie P. Williams is a professional landscape designer with Turf Tamer, Inc. She has written many informative landscaping articles for Turf Tamer's Tip of the Week program. Want to learn more landscaping tips and tricks? Go to HYPERLINK
"" to sign up for the 'Tip of the Week' and learn more tips!

mom to Drew (16) High School At Last!
mom to Ally (10) 4th Grade, Baby! WooHoo!

Parenthood:  That state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage.  ~Marcelene Cox  Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children.  ~Marilyn Penland
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