Remodeling and Home Design

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    « Book Review: Beautiful No-Mow Yards | Main | Grab Bag - Vertical Gardening, Blogging...and Spa Products? »


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    Gordon Rigg

    Loved the choice of colours in picture 6 (with the curved path). Always nice to see a variety of plants that contrast well with each other.

    Thank you, Gordon!

    Robert Webber

    Hi Susan!
    Just such sound advice about how clear things should be for callers and yes too true that we designers all obsess about travel through. Coz when that is right you don't have to think and can enjoy the rest of the garden. Right?
    Thanks and Best

    Yup, it's all about transitions and movement, whether it's with the feet or merely the eyes. Thanks for taking time to comment!

    rebecca sweet

    Wow - love those before and after photos of the front door trying to camouflage itself! You definitely earned your fee with that one! Great post with great tips and thank you for not using my little pathway in my back garden as a "do not do this" photo!! ;)

    I love your pathway! And a perfect size for the scale of your garden.

    Jocelyn/the art garden

    Excellent presentation, Susan: So much of garden design is NOT about the plants! (And I couldn't agree more about the mega driveway crisis.)Thanks for the great tips!

    We do seem to have become a nation of car worshipers, not to mention our need for gigantic garages to hold all of our stuff. Clients are often truly confused when I suggest adding a path that doesn't go through the driveway.

    Christina Salwitz

    I love how your posts are mini-masters class in design. Thanks Professor, I had a good time learning about the yays and nays of coming home!

    Thanks, Christina!


    I'm still chuckling over your comment, "remember, your goal is to take your guests on a pleasant journey to the front door, not help them reach their goal of 10,000 steps a day." Once again, you say it clearly and with humor. Nicely done, Susan.

    I was going to show some pictures of pathways in my neighborhood where it looks like the designer was paid by the curve, but decided to keep it upbeat. Glad I made you laugh! :-)


    Susan, I'm with Pam...I chuckled over that comment. Probably because I've traveled a few of those looong pathways when visiting clients. Love the photo of the no-lawn front garden, it's so much more interesting than what we typically see.

    Thanks, Debbie!


    Agree with Christina, thanks Susan!

    In So Cal, a typical mid-50s suburban garage-forward layout has sweeping driveway, crossed to get to the door. Just this morning, thinking of a way to make that crossing more pleasant... must give it a try. (Total remodel to change garage access is unfortunately not in the cards). Your post is encouraging.

    What an improvement in duplex entry simply to paint out the gas service meter, too! Nice.

    Amazing how some of the smallest fixes can make the biggest difference. Thanks for stopping by, Janis!

    Shirley Bovshow "EdenMaker"

    Fantastic design lesson in easy to understand terms for the layperson! I can appreciate that.


    If there's a simple solution, why look for a complicated one, right?

    Susan aka Miss R

    Was hoping someone would talk about the arrival experience. I always want my clients to exhale 'home' when they enter their front yards and their guests to slow down, enjoy and relax. The arrival sequence can create that for sure.


    Does your comment about not starting in the driveway also apply to rural properties? Practically nobody is close enough to walk to our house, and parking in the 55mph road is practically suicidal, not to mention a traffic hazard. I can't think of anywhere other than the driveway that a path could start.

    No, there are always exceptions, and yours is a good example. When the road is busy and no one can park or walk on it, it's much more logical to have the path start at a staging area. But even then, you can imply the start of the path by changing the direction of the pathway paving. This preserves the integrity of the path while acknowledging that a traditional approach is not practical.


    I couldn't understand why you could not find the front door from the garage? There was a mat in front of it and the door was "a front door"

    Why would you want a 5'wide path to your door? Why do you have to have it wide enough for two people? People don't usually approach in that manner.

    Susie, when designing a garden, the goal is to create a cohesive look, and in a front yard part of that is making the experience, both visual and actual, as pleasant as possible. There are no hard-and-fast rules as each home and gardener is different, but this post points out some basic guidelines that apply to many situations.

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