Saturday, October 8, 2011

Getting from here to there

When Glenn, Erika and I first moved to this house (nearly 14 years ago) the big (for us anyway) backyard was dirt with one tiny little patch of concrete just outside the "patio" door.   We spent a lot of time thinking about what to do with all that space and saving our pennies to pay for it.   Our purchase contract required that we "install" landscaping in the front of the house within a certain number of months of moving in.  This helped the developer maintain a nice look to the neighborhood while he built and sold the rest of the houses.  So, the backyard waited about two years before anything major was done to it.  While we planned the patio, walls, and planters I kept insisting to Glenn that we needed a path out to the edge of the backyard that overlooks the canyon.  He didn't feel a path was necessary but I insisted that no one would walk out to the edge if we didn't invite them to do so.  Glenn gave in to shut me up and laid a gorgeous path.

We don't entertain very often, but when we do, our guests tend to cluster on the patio for a few minutes (remember, we live in always-beautiful Southern California so almost all our entertaining is done outdoors) then someone, usually one of the guys, will make a beeline for the path and walk out to the edge of the yard to stare out into the canyon, valley and hills beyond.  Without the path, I wonder how often anyone would walk out to the edge,  I'd bet not as often; the path invites them to do it (and gives them some degree of confidence they won't be stepping in anything left behind by one of the dogs while they are doing it!) 
It was fun for me to read this post at the garden design website Digging.  The designer, Pam Penick lives in Austin Texas, but feels the same way I do about garden paths -- we need them to "invite" (she used the same word I did) people to wander to the interesting parts of our yards.

Not only do our guests use our paths, so do our dogs.  Here are some shots of them avoiding the tall, damp, grass by taking the path!

OK.  So this just barely shows one of the dogs using the path, but I like the clouds so I included the photo.  It's my blog.

Each girl is using a separate path.
Another one without the dogs, but I like the clouds. 


scotsmad said...

A beautiful 'invitation'.

For several years we had a backyard consisting of a Hill's Hoist (clothesline) and bindiis (horrible burrs) until finally making a lovely private garden. It's amazing to look back at photos of what it used to look like.

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

We don't have a canyon behind us, just another house.

Pam/Digging said...

What a lovely path. It is very inviting with that soft s-curve. Thanks for the link to my path post too! (BTW, the first link appears to be broken.)

Boo's Mom said...

Thanks for letting me know about the broken link, Pam. Sorry about that! Obviously, my yarn was NOT designed by a professional like you, but we still like it a lot. Especially with the paths!! (-: