Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rural Free Landscaping -- The Garden Path

I'm on a mission to claim every inch of the unused land on our little rural parcel and make it cute, useful, beautiful, quirky, silly, whatever I want. This is my therapy while we camp out with our kids and look for a permanent home.

My first project was a garden path. Before I started, there was no way to get from one side of the property to the other across the back. Part of it looked like this ...

... and the other side looked like this:

I asked our son-in-law to weed-whack a path for me. It's a good thing I went with him. Typical male, he would have chosen the shortest distance between 2 points, leaving me with a freeway straight across. NOT! Garden paths should meander and hold a little mystery about what lies around the next curve.

Here is how it looks now from the left:
All it took was a little "whacking," a little raking, and some dead-fall, to make this side fun and interesting. (It still needs a few more logs on the left, but it will always be a work in progress.) One hint, here, is to make the entrance flair out, as if inviting us in. Another idea is to make the path wide. This adds a feeling of openness.

This side is even more interesting, and gives us a focal point with the cluster of trees, plus an inviting path to the nice neighbor next door (out of sight on the right).

All of this was done last year, and took very little work to bring it back this year. We are in the process of adding more loops and points of interest. Stay tuned for updates on secret paths, yard art, and butterflies.

Altogether, this project took about a week of our time and $0.00 to complete, using only materials already lying around.  It has greatly improved the natural personality (and value) of our land, with plenty more improvements to come.

The best part of this project is looking for treasures to decorate our new path. Wouldn't this little birdhouse look cute in one of the trees?

When you're stuck inside this winter, you could make your own decorations to put out on your path next year.