Paths of confusion

taninsamaJuly 3, 2011

Hi, In my front yard, I have two identical, pre-existing paths. One runs to the backyard, and the other runs to the front door. My house is sort of laid out odd, and the front door does not face the street. When you stand at the head of the path (the street) you cannot tell which path leads to the front door and which is the back yard. I have had many packages delivered to the backyard and friends complaining that they didn't know where to go.

Short of replacing the back yard path with something less conspicuous, what can I do to make sure people use the right path? Please help.

Thanks!

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designshare(z6)

Improving your front yard and it't way's curb appeal,maybe it work.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 8:50PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

People often instinctively cram stuff around their front door in an effort to make it stand out, and only end up hiding it. So make sure the front door has open space around it, maybe paint it a bright colour, make sure it has a mail slot and address on it prominently, obvious doorbell, make it well lit, maybe somewhat formal-looking. In contrast, you can close in the back entrance with pots or plants or whatever.

In addition, you can make the main path the wider one. Add a brick border or a row of 1x1' paving stones, on either side if necessary. Make the difference as dramatic as you can. Maybe even put the address on the path with paint, or inset or inscribed... in big contrasting numbers.

KarinL

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:56PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Another way to make the front door path more eye-catching is to make the landscaping more elaborate or more formal than the landscaping along the other path. For example, you might widen the plantings along the front door path so that they flare out to either side at the street. Or if you don't already have plants along the path, add triangular beds where the path meets the street.

There are more possibilities for signs than simply your address. A sign could have your surname, or the word "Deliveries," or simply "Welcome" -- or whatever else you think is likely to work. I can't suggest where you put the sign, except that it should be clearly visible from the start of the back yard path. [You could also add a "Private" sign to the back yard path, though that might not be helpful unless the front door path is visible from that point.]

It's difficult to say anything concrete without photos. For example, we don't know how close the two paths are to each other, or whether one looks more attractive or welcoming than the other. We also don't know where people are parking (is one path closer to the parking area than the other, or more visible for some reason?).

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 10:23PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

You need to post pics. And answer missingtheobvious' ?s. Then I'll bet responses come flowing in.

Rosie

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 9:25AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I actually think plantings may hide the path; you have to be very careful that you focus on your objective of making the path MORE evident. Hiding it in a riotous perennial garden will achieve the opposite. Thats sort of what I meant around the doorway. So I would agree with MTO on formal, but not necessarily on elaborate. Let's say, for example, that you make a row of little boxwood shrubs along the path leading the eye to the door - that would work. But triangles of shrubs will hide the path and make it less welcoming, in my opinion - sorry MTO!

KarinL

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 11:25AM
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