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Form Function and Creativity - Creating Walkways with Style

Apr 8, 2008
It is unlikely that you want a driveway or walkway to be a dominant feature in your yard. When you are planning these areas, you should allow enough space for them to be fully functional--to allow enough room for the traffic they will receive--without being overbearing. Ideally, you should design your home so that the garage is close to the house and near the street. Having the garage near the street and close to the home will make less pathways necessary.

Your driveway needs to be large enough to allow for off-street parking. You need to design the structure of the driveway well also. Most importantly, you need to create a quality drainage system. If the soil under the driveway cannot drain, the wet soil will cause the driveway to break down, especially with heavy vehicles driving on it. You should build your driveway out of stable materials that won't be washed away by storms or displaced by snowplows. Exceptions can be made to stable materials if your driveway is exceptionally large, or if your landscaping style calls for something else. In these cases, gravel or crushed rocks can work. If you use materials such as these, just know that you will have more maintenance to do.

Walkways should look like they belong where they are placed. Adding paths through your landscaping garden will greatly improve your lawn. It will encourage people to wander through your yard to view the beautiful things you planted. In addition, the path can add a unique look, and it will allow you to get back to work on your plants without trampling over other plants.

You must be very conscious of the material you choose for the path. Concrete may not be right, especially for a path through a garden. More natural materials such as wood, flagstone, or tanbark, would be better alternatives for this. If you have a colonial house, brink will compliment it well. A more modern house tends to look nice with wood. Of course there are variations to this, using landscaping bricks for example, but you need to use your personal style and desire to make your choice.

Garden Pools and Fountains

All plants and animals need water to live, so it is no surprise that we are naturally attracted to water in any form. The use of water will enrich your garden and delight your senses. You can even have a garden pool on your patio or terrace if you wish. Moving water is especially intriguing, such as a fountain or a winding stream. These water features can be intermixed with garden flowers and stones for a very nice effect. The water will actually help the plants grow, just through it's evaporation. This is a method of giving plants relief from excessive heat and dryness.

You should be able to see the pool or water feature from multiple places in your garden. It is pretty simple to install a small pool or fountain in your garden. You do not need much power, just a small motor and pump for the fountain or if you have a small stream. You can be creative with the styling you choose for the water feature and the area around it.
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