Sunday, May 06, 2007

Backyard Attraction

Simply put, most homes are designed as wide as possible and placed on the property in such a way that you end up with a long narrow pathway to the rear yard.

In the above photo we see an example of the side entry into a backyard. Before Lawrence Winterburn and I got our hands on it, it was a plain and uninviting pathway. Lawrence designed a great looking fence and gate detail to draw your interest as you approach the backyard access.

Stepping through the gate, a visitor is immediately greeted by planting that draws their eyes towards the back. The scene is completed by a water feature bubbling away to create visual and audio interest which invites you to walk down the pathway.

As you arrive into the rear portion of the home, the water feature welcomes you to create an inviting space to use at your disposal. What lies beyond there is slated for another article post.

The idea with pathways is to give them just enough appeal that a visitor feels invited to walk through the passage. There is a lot happening at the end of the path which immediately sparks curiosity and a desire to go find out what else there is back there. A path should have textures and lines created by plants or paving materials that frame and direct you along your walk.


darling24_7 said...

:) You got me. I want to see whats in the backyard :) Looking forward to the next article post!

ken said...

Thanks for the great tips and photos! I had to wait for a few months after I saw your post for the weather to get warm enough so I could get this done. I was grappling with a similar pathway in my own yard that just went from the gate, to patchy grass, to a brick wall. Paving the path and adding in some plants that pulled the eye to the end of the path really did the trick.
I ended up ordering a paver block splitter from for the job and have plans to use it for some other projects. I want to do the rest of the yard similar to what you show, but being an ametuer I am not sure if putting the water back there will look as good if I do it myself.
Do you recommend hiring someone to do it?

Paul Corsetti (416)455-5515 said...

Hi Ken,

Doing a water feature for the first time is tricky... if you have not had much experience with pumps and liners then it can take a few attempts to get the feature to look just right... The easiest feature to do is a formal shape... square or circle and the feature takes on the effect of a water fountain.

If attempting to create a Natural looking water fall might be best left to a professional to guide you in that direction. Stone placement is everything when you want it to look just right!

Good luck...