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PICS - Landscape ? - Design for path way down to river

PICS - Landscape ? - Design for path way down to river

Old 04-15-09, 10:54 AM
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PICS - Landscape ? - Design for path way down to river

We just moved to a wonderful place in the upper peninsula of MI. We have a great view overlooking a river and a bluff on the other side of the river. Our house sits on a hill and is about 170 yards from the river. Today, there is no landscaping down to the river or at the river. Our goal is to make a landscaped path way with a park setting(fire pit, chairs, etc.) down by the river. I have some good ideas for the park area but am struggling to figure out a good path way down to the river.

I would really like to keep the path way low maintainence. Since the path is so long, Im not sure a stoned path way is an option due to cost... but am open to hearing ideas.

If you have any ideas or pictures, please let me know as I am really struggling.


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Old 04-15-09, 12:15 PM
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After walking the pathway a few times to establish the desired route, use a weed eater and lawn mower to clear the pathway.

If you want a natural look, that may be all you need to do. A couple of widened areas along the way with benches would be a nice touch.

A more finished look could be achieved by adding pavers or stepping stones.

You have a wonderful view. Take your time and take advantage of the natural beauty. Good luck with your project.
Old 04-16-09, 07:59 AM
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Newt - do you have any ideas?

Newt - do you have any ideas? Thanks!
Old 04-18-09, 02:41 PM
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Hi Jamie,

Wow! Fantastic view and setting. Once you're finished I'm coming for a visit.

Here's my thoughts. First decide the look you want. If you want it to look natural then putting down a stone path will make it look more planned. You could use a combination of mulch or pea gravel and stepable plants that grow on the path. Which plants you use will depend on the sun conditions. Do you want it to remain 'open' and sunny or do you want a more woodland look? Informal or formal? Do you want lots of color with flowers or would you rather have shrubs or even a combination of the two? That will help to determine what you should plant. But first you need to decide what look you want.

I did a couple of google image searches with:

Woodland path

Garden path

Anything there that makes you drool? I found this site that shows pics of 20 different types of paths. Something to learn from each of them.

Also search with:
winter woodland path
winter garden path

I also noticed you took a great picture from inside the house. Since winters are long where you are, consider having someone stand where you can see them from inside the house and either plant something spectacular there for you to look at in winter (holly with berries for birds and the color and movement they bring, either evergreen or deciduous?), or place some boulders, a sculpture and/or bench there as a pretty setting to look at.

Keep in mind that a curved path will add more mystery and a sense of discovery. You could plant a combination of early season, mid season and late season bulbs near the path edge to take away the winter blahs. Plant them so they can be seen from inside the house.

Groundcovers that spill into the path will soften the edges. If you plant natives that offer food to local critters and birds, they will entertain you and eat insect pests too.

Once you have decided the look you want the order of things to do would be hardscape first (path, bench, sculpture), then trees, shrubs, flowers.

Once you decide the look you want, let me know the sun conditions and your hardiness zone and I'll put together a list of plant material for you to think about. Of course, what choices there are will depend on your hardiness zone. I'm thinking that could be from zone 5 to 3.


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