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Transformative Walkway Landscaping For Spring and Summer

Jun 3, 2013 | Pavement

Washington, DC | Maryland | Virginia

We all need them, in front yards or back. We need walkways in order to get from one part of the yard to another. And we’ve all seen those straight, concrete walkways that cut through the grass, marching toward the door as if nothing will—or can—get in their way. But walkways don’t have to be that way; they can add interest, beauty or a sense of exploration to your yard. So whatever you have now, here are some ways in which landscaping walkways can transform the experience of walking through your yard.

First, you need to decide whether you want to emphasize or minimize your walkway. If it’s the primary way to get from the street to your front door, and you love visitors, then you might well want to emphasize your walkway. If it’s one of those straight concrete pathways and you are happy with that, then think about some ways you can accent that walkway. Plants are a lovely way to do this, and you can create groupings of plants, with differences in height, to emphasize the walkway and still make it interesting. For example, you can have a pair of large flowering shrubs at the end of the walkway, one on each side, to emphasize the point toward which visitors are headed: your front door. Then line your walkway with a series of smaller plant groupings, perhaps a mix of boxwood or other shrubs, with some annuals mixed in for color.

If you are starting from scratch, then you might want to create a path that makes a large curve as it approaches your front door, giving visitors a chance to look in different directions and see more of your house as they walk. In this case, you might prefer a series of large flagstones as stepping stones for your path, perhaps with taller stones along the sides, to help delineate the pathway. Plant patches of colorful ground cover in the midst of those large boundary stones, or add fragrant ground cover plants, such as creeping red thyme, that are strong enough to be walked on, amongst the stones of the path itself.

In the back yard, you might prefer to minimize your walkway, making it more a path of discovery than direction. By planting taller, flowering plants, like roses and hollyhocks, and adding an archway with climbing vines such as clematis or honeysuckle, you can make the destination of your walkway a mystery to be explored, around the next bend in your landscaping. Perhaps the path itself can be made of bricks, or smooth river stones, adding to the sense of old world charm. If you have a backyard pond, perhaps the path can arch over the pond itself, and a bench set into a curve can encourage walkers to pause, sit and admire the beauty of your back yard.

The possibilities truly are endless when it comes to landscaping your walkways, so contact us today for more suggestions or to arrange a visit from our landscaping team.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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