Thursday, March 08, 2012

Put Walks Where They Are Needed

    Put walks where they are needed-this is the universal rule; but be sure they are needed. In the beginning you will think you need more than you actually do need. How to get the proper curve? Perhaps you do not need a curve. There are two fixed points in every walk-the beginning and the ending. Some walks lack either one or the other of these points, and I have seen some that seemed to lack both. Go from one point to the other in the easiest and simplest way possible. If you can throw in a gentle curve, you may enhance the charm of it; and you may not. Directness and convenience should never be sacrificed for mere looks- for "looks" has no reason for being unless it is related to something.
    For main walks that are much used, cement and stone flagging are good materials, because they are durable and they keep down the weeds. There is no trouble in making a durable cement or artificial stone walk in the northern climates if the underdrainage is good and the cement is "rich." For informal walks, the natural loam may be good; or sharp gravel that will pack; or cinders; or tan-bark. For very narrow walks or trails in the back yard I like to sink a ten-inch-wide plank to the level of the sod. It marks the direction, allows you dry passage, the lawn-mower passes over it, and it will last for several years with no care whatever. In flower gardens, a strip of sod may be left as a walk; but the disadvantage of it is that it retains dews and the water of rainfall too long. Some of the most delightful periods for viewing the garden are the early morning and the "clearing spell" after a shower.  L.H. Bailey, The Spirit of the Home Garden, How to make a flower garden: a manual of practical information and suggestions, 1903

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