My last post about the garden design of the front walk prompted some very thoughtful comments and questions. There are a couple I’d like to address in a post before we move on. The rest I think will be answered in forthcoming posts.
Hm. I don’t understand why you *must* have a straight path out to the street. They’re boring, and as you’ve pointed out, you don’t get any pedestrian traffic where you are. (They’re even bad feng shui they say!) Why not just move the mailbox up next to the driveway where you can either drive or walk to it?
This is a very good question, especially since, when I laid out the precise lines of the new walk with a square and mason’s line, I discovered that the mailbox currently sits smack dab in the middle of the proposed front walk.If the walk is installed, the mailbox will have to be moved. Why not move only the mailbox? In fact, the mailbox at our former home was located at the driveway’s edge. But there are three reasons why I’d still prefer to have a front walk from the porch to the street, and locate the mailbox there.
- We wouldn’t be able to see the mailbox from the house if it were next to the driveway entrance. Because of the way the driveway angles away from the house, the mailbox wouldn’t be visible from any of the front windows, and we wouldn’t be able to see if the flag was up or down. (This is important when there is a subzero windchill and a foot of snow. You don’t want to make that trip twice!)
- The driveway is much longer than the distance from the porch to the road. Again, this matters more in winter.
- But most importantly, when I sit and eat breakfast every morning, I sit on a chair that directly faces the kitchen door and has a view all the way to the street. I want to see a garden out there, and the walk provides a design line of sight and the mailbox creates the justification for the walk.
And having said all that, I suppose you could come up with counter-reasons for each of my points. But as I have conceived it, I don’t think it will be boring. (If I did, I would change it, of course.)
I would like to suggest a second driveway, from the road to those double doors, rather than trying to leave a way clear for a truck to drive over the grass every so often.
And Deirdre in Seattle added,
Don’t forget the truck will compact the soil. I’d forget growing anything in its path, including grass.
You know, I don’t envision a truck driving through on a regular basis. It would happen if we got a new couch or a family member moved out, something like that. I’m not even talking yearly. At our old house, the septic pumping truck had to drive on our lawn once a year, and I didn’t notice any significant longterm effect. As a matter of fact, I may eventually figure out a way to do what Frances suggests, and design a border that would tolerate the very occasional drive over. We’ll see.
In my next post on this topic I will discuss the design of the walk itself.
This post is part of a continuing series chronicling how I am designing new gardens at my new (to me) house. Previous posts include my one year anniversary, an overview and map of the environs, the initial front walk post, and one discussing the front walk garden design.