It’s almost here. One month behind us and approximately two more to go before we can get the garden juices flowing and officially say the word ‘Spring’. So until then, let’s talk about something more tangible that we can let flow into some of our 2014 landscape schemes. Let’s touch upon pathways and a simple rule of thumb. Like many things in life, follow the flow and see where it leads. When it comes to designing a path, following that flow often drives what finally comes to be.
Some of this info dates back from an older blog post, June 7, 2010. Not everyone wants formal attire (you know formal pathways when you see them). Some of us want a more casual, organic flow that works well for kids and pets. The best rule of practice in understanding what works is to simply let them play.
Kids and dogs behave like the flow of water in nature. Water always finds the path of least resistance. Like kids and dogs, if you redirect them in a particular manner, they typically find what feels natural to them. They run with or without obstacles; somehow they manage to find their way around them.
Animals and children have a habit of carving their own paths that may contradict your gardening plans but in the grand scheme of things, it all works well. It is human nature to find these “desire lines”. It is finding the path of least resistance. College campus planners in certain parts of the world have been smart enough to realize this natural fact. They will develop a section of campus and intentionally not design or install any landscape for that area. They wait and allow the students to determine the proper path system. They design and install after the ‘desire lines’ have been established by the students. In essence, the students set the framework.
So do what is instinctive to your family. It is your lifestyle, not the one in the magazine. In other words, don’t fight it. Go with the flow. It is less frustrating and in the end, the rewards are a harmonious landscape. People don’t tend to walk in straight lines unless we are told. Nature has an organic element and flow. It is not symmetrical.
To encapsulate today’s design images, Roman Payne’s words sum it up best. “She always knew the way. Her feet were little wings.”
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