Short, straight, long or winding, the path leading to your front door has an impact on both the way your house looks and how you feel about it.
Although it is often considered purely functional, the pathway is an important part of front yard landscaping. It is the entrance to your home, so it should look inviting and feel good to walk on. A clean, attractive path will also enhance your home’s street appeal.
Whether you are designing a new path altogether, or wanting to change the existing one, the first aspect to consider is its shape.
According to Feng Shui principles, energy enters through your front door. It can do this either as a torrent or a stream, depending on the shape of the path leading up to it. A winding path is best, as it slows the energy down and allows it to flow more gently.
If your front path is straight and can’t be changed easily, add objects that slow the energy down into focal points by using round plant pots, wind chimes, benches or water features. Try planting bushes or flowers alongside and extend their borders onto the path so that they just soften the edges a little.
A meandering path allows a greater opportunity to showcase your garden, however, be careful not to overdo the curves because then people will take shortcuts across the lawn.
Other important aspects to consider when designing a front pathway are width and paving materials.
Ideally, the path that your guests will use to reach your house should be wide enough for two people to comfortably walk side-by-side. The minimum width would be 1.2 metres; 1.5 metres is preferable. Again, this will depend on your landscape, but the wider it is the less likely you are to brush against wet branches on a rainy night!
Since the front walkway is a big part of your home’s street appeal, you should select materials that complement the exterior of your home. Keep in mind that solid paving, such as concrete, stone or pavers, is easier and safer to walk on than stepping-stones or gravel. Gardeners with wheelbarrows, women in high heels or visitors dragging a suitcase will likewise appreciate a hard-packed surface.
Whatever your path looks like by day, a few well-placed solar lights will always make it a delight to come home to in the dark.