There is no front walk.
Why is there no front walk?
We live out in the country, and there are no sidewalks along the edge of the road, so there is no reason for a front walk to connect with a sidewalk. The road is narrow, so visitors coming by car would not park along the road in front of the house, but would park in the driveway, and most likely enter from the garage door, which has a doorbell. Really, the only reason to have a walk from the house to the road is to make it easier for us to get the mail out of the mailbox. The former owners probably drove up to the mailbox on their way home from work, so didn’t have much need for a paved pathway to the roadside mailbox. But about a third of this family are home every day, and we walk from the house to the mailbox to get the mail.
What kind of front walk shall we have?
I started pondering this lack last winter, a few months after we had moved in. The first thing to settle was, from which door should the walkway begin? I considered the double doors of the original building, which because of their size, and because they opened onto a foyer intended for receiving guests, would certainly have been the logical choice before the rest of the house was built.
But as currently constructed, the kitchen is the physical center of the house, has a welcoming little porch, and is directly across from the mailbox. I did some research, and found experts recommended a main path to the house be wide enough for two to walk side-by-side, four to six feet. I was tempted to just go with four feet, as that was surely the most economical. But I wanted the walk to complement the rest of the house and not be a niggardly appendage that screamed “We were too cheap to do this right!” So I paced it out on the snow, and found that aligning the edges of the walk with the uprights supporting the porch worked very well:
More Questions, More Decisions
Basing the dimensions of a garden’s design on architectural features of the house is generally considered good garden design, and I thought that width looked well-proportioned. Now I had two more burning questions: what should the walk be paved with, and how should a garden be designed around it? Stay tuned for the next chapter in my exciting adventure!