Designing a walkway and plantings to new arbor

Claudette_PJanuary 27, 2013

I just had this new fence and arbor put in on the north side of our house. When the fence guys were digging, they ran into cable, and couldn't center the arbor, hence it is slightly left of center. Then, after they were done, I realized the house is not quite perpendicular to the road, and, since they lined the arbor up with the house, it is also slightly - just a bit - turned in. I am adding a picture so you can see what I mean. The problem is how am I going to design the walkway now? A nice walkway would lead the eye to the arbor, but in this case, would be so close to the house... Help! Does anyone have any ideas about how to do this and how to plant around this area to minimize the fact that the arbor is off center and a bit tilted? Short of ripping it out and starting over (it's expensive!) I feel stuck. It doesn't look that bad but I'm sort of obsessing....

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yardvaark

Forget that the arbor is off center. By the time you finish things and get the area planted (however you wish) no one will notice or care. Similar things are around us all the time and we never give them a thought. The need for absolute symmetry would be dictated by larger, built things that are just not here. (Not IMO anyway.) A more applicable concept worth striving to achieve here is BALANCE. I think that will happen with an offset walk and planting.

I think a nice offset walk would be achieved with curved corners. But if that's too bothersome or difficult, angles would be fine. The actual angle is not too critical, but the initial and return angle should match. The walk should be of UNIFORM WIDTH throughout to make sure that the corners appear as if the sections were mitered. (If the width varies from one section to another, the walk will look sloppy. Make it look better than my sketch!) Whatever you choose, curved or angled, be consistent and use the same theme when you tie the walk to the driveway. If you plan it out on paper first (to scale) and then transfer it to the ground with ground marking paint (Lowe's or H.D) you'll be able to get a good feel for what it will actually look like before you build it. (Use dashed lines with the paint first as you may wish to make revisions. If you use too much paint too soon it can get messy with changes.) Depending on whatever walks you have already present, that might influence the theme you choose for the new walk.

As an absolute minimum, I'd make the walk at least 4' from the garage wall so there is room enough that some plants could actually grow. I think 5' would be better and 6' might be good, too. You'll need to balance this dimension with the space allotted in order to achieve the best overall picture and place for plants to grow.

And what the road is doing ... no one will care about that either.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:50PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Count your lucky stars that you won't have a boring and predictable side garden entry. :-) If you google 'path to garden gate' images, or 'path to side garden' you will find many inspirational photos to excite your imagination. You have a wide choice of path and plant materials to suit any garden personality from quiet zen to cottage exuberance. Have fun with it, the precise angle is not a major issue.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:27PM
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yardvaark

Ha! Seeing my sketch again, the curves almost look like angles. Just imagine better curves then.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:09PM
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Claudette_P

Thank you Yardvaark and Catkim - your postings made me feel a lot better. I'm looking forward to some warm weather to get started on a path and am checking out pictures of plantings and path design. I like the one you suggested, Yardvaark. May have to borrow it! Thanks gain!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:01PM
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Claudette_P

Thank you Yardvaark and Catkim - your postings made me feel a lot better. I'm looking forward to some warm weather to get started on a path and am checking out pictures of plantings and path design. I like the one you suggested, Yardvaark. May have to borrow it! Thanks gain!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:03PM
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