This May Be The Right Path

I started trying to build a path along my deck last year. I wanted something that was “green” in the sense of allowing water to flow through, but stop weeds from coming up. My first attempt with burlap as the foundation was a failure. The next iteration was a bit better, but not really great. I used screen material and stepping stones. It did slow the weeds tremendously, but there were still weeds and it wasn’t all that comfortable for walking. I kept adding more and more stepping stones. No photos of all those interations because they just didn’t thrill me.

Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) and a cosmos

I saw mats made of recycled plastic on Gardener’s Supply. They are semi-permeable and very tidy. They also cost much more than the screening and stepping stones. I bought a set to give them a try. Around the same time a friend of mine told me he’d used old roofing shingles as a path. It so happens I HAVE old roofing shingles from when they blew off during Hurricane Ida last year.

canna lily, butterfly weed, Bolton’s aster, cosmos

I made a patchwork path of stepping stones, rubber mats and roofing shingles. I decided to see which worked better for me. I made the mistake of asking my husband which he preferred. *grin* I was leaning towards the roofing shingles approach because that was much cheaper than the rubber mats, I liked the look, and they were flat. The stepping stones were the cheapest but they are not that comfortable for walking, leaves and other debris get trapped and I wasn’t loving the look. My husband preferred the rubber mats. Of course. Champagne & caviar taste for that one. 🙂 If you look carefully at the photos you can see that I did still use some of the roofing shingles in the narrow area by the lilac bush.

Bolton’s aster (False starwort)

I waited for the mats to go on sale and for me to have some disposable income. That all came together recently and I rebuilt the path. There are still some stepping stones nearby, and 3 slate panels but the majority of it is now recycled rubber. It really is much more comfortable for walking and there won’t be weeds. I used landscaping fabric staples to anchor the pads as well. The catalog/website show the mats as going down sooooo easily and smoothly. My path area is at a slant, full of roots and uneven in its width. I’m also a bit slow at unpacking things so the mats were curled for quite awhile. 🙂 Curling edges not only are tripping hazards but ruin the smooth look.

Great Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) new for me this year – it seems to be thriving despite the drought

I am still not happy with the path as it moves past the lilac bush. There are a LOT of large roots, with not much space between the roots. I have the slate panels there. I really love the slate panels – I have 2 others elsewhere. They’re not really meant for the way I’m using them – on uneven ground. So some of the slates have broken and some have become detached from the backing. I love how they look so I’m trying to figure out a way to level that area a bit without harming the roots. At the moment that area is probably the least safe part of the walk. Even if I put rubber mats there they will be uneven because of the roots.

In any case I’m done with the path for this year. Water gets through, weeds are blocked, no tripping on most of it, and I’ve lost interest. *grin* Now I need to take a look at the rest of the back area and see what needs attention there.

Morning Walk Architecture

Notice the brickwork all the way to the right. This house is SO LOVED.

What a joy! When I woke this morning it was already 60F degrees!! I’d blocked out time in the afternoon to walk, but it was early enough and warm enough that I could walk before I sat down to work.

I need to trespass some day to see this from the back.

One of the fun aspects of walking is seeing what everyone else has done with their homes and property. I’m planning to have someone do some small building work for me outside this spring, based on ideas I’ve gotten over the last few months as I walk. I like Craftsmen/Mission style and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style. When it comes to art work or selecting items for my home I’m always attracted to stone/metal/wood. You’ll see that in the privacy screens.

This for the privacy art work along the back property line.

There are also some homes that tickle my fancy every time I see them. The small house pictured here is so appealing – the colors, the facade. Attractive and makes me smile every time I go by. I also love the carve out on this very old house – what a clever way to get light and air!

Brilliant! Reminds me of how I customized my broom closet in the kitchen renovations.

I want to build a privacy screen along my back property line. I’m being very careful to NOT call it a fence, because for that I’d need permits. 🙂 But I’m calling it a piece of art that I can position in such a way that it gives me more privacy AND is attractive to all who see it. I also want to grow ivy and/or other plants on it. I want it to have some sort of bin at the bottom for additional soil. But I need a swinging panel as well between the existing privacy screen and the new one, because I’ll need to get to the back side of both. Mark says “not a problem”.

This has wheels – I’ve seen it move about. I want this for my driveway which gets LOTS of sun.

I do need to fix my brickwork from last fall, and I’m not going to change it – just level it – but I do enjoy seeing what others have done. I love the grass in the one photo. I could definitely see myself pulling up my lawn and putting in something much ‘wilder’ instead, especially if it meant I no longer needed the lawn mowed. 🙂

Love the grass. and the back brick work.
Come- walk with me! Doesn’t this pathway just call to you?