Sunday, August 29, 2010

Seeking Suggestions

So, I had this great idea for a walkway from the driveway to the pool...over the past two years, we've worn a path in the grass on this route. My wonderful hubby actually suggested the idea. I quickly decided that a gravel pathway would be best. Then as I traveled around and noticed people's gravel anything, I decided that that was not for Cannon Ball. I don't blow leaves and our laurel oaks are constantly dropping them. And I can't stand to see something uncared for.

Once the plants were finally in place and the curbing around front had cured, I put down weed cloth along what will be the pathway.

The journey around back begins here at the driveway.

Turning the curve, you find yourself staring at the fence,

which opens to the butterfly garden in the back. I thought about mulch for the pathway, but looking at the mulched beds now, I can't see how to distinguish the path from the planted beds (and I know that'd give me a reason to put things in the way of the path). Pavers seem a little expensive...

Sadly, I have grown rather fond of the black weedcloth pathway. It's soft and I tend to walk around barefoot quite a bit--not too hard on the knees either.

I want something that blends with the house (the other BB's requirement), something that is very low maintenance (no leaf blowing constantly...don't mind once in a while), something that will last a long time, and something that won't allow weeds to grow nor people to slip and fall.

Please fire away any and all ideas and if you know others, tell them to shoot me suggestions too. And if you need to see more photos of all of this, I'm happy to add. I have to complete the walkway before I can build the pergola.

Oh, some notes: Our patio is a paver patio with light colored pavers.

Our walkway from the drive to the front door will be these pavers, though not the same design:

The house is currently a pale beige, but will soon be a shade of green. Thoughts?


Dr. Wifey said...

how about crushed granite?

Meems said...

hmmm... I think you said no pine needles when we talked because you think of them as slippery??? But they are soft (on the knees)and I haven't found them to be slippery. If you use the path to lug things and push things (like a cart or wheelbarrow) you will need to make consideration for that as well... you wouldn't want it to be too difficult. I'm trying to talk Mr. Meems in to springing for a pathway from front to back alongside the edible garden. It would be that composite wood ( laid horizontally every foot or so with small pea gravel in between. He isn't buying in yet.

Brando said...

Kristie-good idea, but I think I'm still back to the whole leaves making it look unkempt or do you mean the stuff like we have home where it sort of cements together? That might not be a bad idea; wonder if I can find it in a muted tone and not white? How's Sweet Pea? I'm going to call has just been in my way.

Meems-I did say slippery, but I've really never noticed that. That was the warning to me when I mentioned it to someone else. It's not out of the question (and it's cheap). At least I could give it a try and it's easy enough to remove if I don't like it.

Nothing is completely out of the possibilities at this time.

Meems said...

You know, now that I think about it again... if you put pine needles on top of the weed mat it probably WOULD be slippery. I think I don't have a problem because I just used newspaper to kill the grass and it detiorates over time. One good thing about the pine needles is that the fallen oak leaves blend in very nicely and help create another layer of natural.

Floridagirl said...

Wow, I honestly have no suggestions for you, as I am comtemplating the same thing. My heart dearly wants pavers or flagstones, but the pocketbook says no. You already have such beautiful paving in your pool area, and I love the edging on your new paths. Very nice! I have to agree with you on gravel. I used it in my second home's garden, and it was a nightmare to keep the leaves and debris off. Eventually, the rocks all drop into the soil (i.e., sand in Central Florida). For me, it will probably be wide paths of bark mulch with widely spaced stepping stones. Cheapest option. And someday, when the money is there, we'll just replace with the real deal.

Brando said...

Meems-this is true, but the weed cloth can come up. It's only there now to keep a new path of green (dollar weed likely) from sprouting.

Floridagirl-yes, I wanted pavers originally too. But if I go that route, it's going to be section at a time. I can't bring myself to fork out $2K for the walkway...unless I find someone cheaper.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! It's given me more ideas. I need to pencil them out in the weeks to come. If you come up with more, feel free to return to post!

One said...

Hi Brando, I like the windy walkway you've created. I don't have any great suggestions for you. But just wondering about a cement pathway with large leave prints on it.

FlowerLady said...

Your paths look very nice. Bitumin roll roofing makes great pathway material. The cheaper roll roofing wears out in a few years, but the bitumin will last a long, long time.

I have the cheap roll roofing as path material all around my main garden, plus have used roofing shingles too. Very easy to sweep and keep up. I got tired of having to weed wack the paths, and this works great for us. We have some of the bitumin elsewhere on the property as path material and it is definitely heavier duty, but it also costs more per roll.

Just a thought, as it might not be your cup of tea.

I found your blog through FL Natives.


Wicked Gardener said...

Now I want a weed blocker path that is soft on the footsies. That would make things much better. I'm terrible with paths at my house - they tend to be that parts of the yard where no grass grows. I'm looking forward to seeing how yours turns out!

Gardendipity said...

Hi Brando, I found your blog through Central Florida Gardener. I live in the same area that you live in.

I love the winding path you have installed. It is beautiful! I had a similar problem, which I'm still working on. My suggestion is to go with mulch, maybe a colored mulch like red mulch. It's inexpensive and it gives you easy flexibility to change it later if you want to.

Next I suggest that you put in border plants along the path that would provide the visual barrier to make clear where the mulch path is. I went with both Purple Queen and also Oyster plants. I have a section of garden path that is lined with Purple Queen, then another section of path with Oyster plants. Both plants are purple in color, and will eventually spread out to make a soft, solid border line along my path. At least, that's what I HOPE will happen!

Good luck, I'm interested to see what you will do and I'll be sure to check back. Merry Christmas!