Paths get people from one place to another comfortably and safely. They lead the eye and the mind, too, as a visual element. Paths are indispensable.
Practical paths can be straight or gently curved, and should be as level as possible. Locate paths along natural lines of travel so that passage is comfortable and so that people don't cut corners. For high-traffic areas, choose solid, wear-resistant paving; for secondary and occasionally used paths, select something inexpensive and organic like wood-chip mulch.
Of all places to throw sustainability to the wind, the pathway is perhaps the most forgivable. The pavement here must be durable and free of hazards, which means you need a solid, smooth path of a permanent hard-wearing surface such as concrete, brick, tile, or grouted flagstone.
ir To reduce the environmental impact of your pathway, use bricks or paver blocks securely set on sand (so that they can be reused) or high-volume fly ir^ll ash concrete (which uses a waste-stream product and reduces production of carbon dioxide). For low-traffic paths, consider stepping stones made from urbanite (salvaged concrete). For more information, refer to "Using safe, sustainable materials," earlier in this chapter.
Use light-emitting-diode (LED) path lights, which use a fraction of the energy of high- or low-voltage lights. (For more on outdoor lighting, turn to Chapter 13.) Getting to your front door is an important daily act for your family and others. The experience should be comfortable, safe, and welcoming. Provide a pathway that leads unambiguously to the house; one that's wide enough to accommodate two people walking side by side (at least 4/2 feet); and that's smooth, safe, and well lit.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.