When I analyze gardens that are about to be remodeled, I’m looking for ways to make them better fit my client’s needs. In the case of my Dad’s front yard, he was tired of all the lawn upkeep. Other than that, he was happy with what he had. It was a simple layout with an existing walkway that connected the front porch to the driveway, two existing maple trees, and lawn.
One of my jobs, as a designer, is to suggest possibilities that my client’s may not have considered. For this garden, I noticed that the existing walkway didn’t really take people where they wanted to go. It forced users to make a hard right immediately after stepping off the porch and deposited them right next to the garage door. Adding a path that traveled straight out from the porch before curving toward the driveway would offer a sensible, gentler route.
We recycled some used 8″ x 16″ concrete bricks that I had leftover from demolition of another project to make the new walk. I’m a huge fan of repurposing landscape materials to save costs and resources and look for creative ways to use what is already on hand. In this case, coloring the bricks and using an alternating pattern when laying out the path created a fresh look that compliments the home and garden.
To enliven the gray bricks, I stained some of them with Scofield Chemstain. Chemstain reacts with the concrete silicates to create mottled, permanent color. I used Pale Terracotta color to give them a rich rusty brown color that looks good with the bricks on the front of the house.
The path layout is simple; it aligns with the front door and sweeps toward the driveway. We left the original path in place so people can get straight to the garage but find ourselves most often using the new path to leave the house.