Part of a series: Living the Good Life with Chris Olsen
Suburban houses usually come with a pre-poured concrete sidewalk. That idea is so pervasive we don’t even think about it. You arrive at your friend’s house, get out of the car, and stroll up the walk. A walk invariably flanked by green grass, carefully manicured and fed. What if you want to be just a little different? You can tear up the sod and replace with hardy perennials that will provide interest, no matter the season. And you can bisect your new planting area with a clearly defined pathway, which is both decorative and functional. People are beginning to discover the pleasures of plants, as opposed to sod, and adding rock strewn paths to provide for a pleasing note of individuality.
Once the sod was removed and the plants installed we provided the path. The idea came out of the need to access the backyard by maintenance crews. You can’t drive a mower through the plants, so what do you do? We levelled the designated—curved–area and created a bed for both large flat pavers, and plenty of rock. The pavers are for stepping, the surrounding rock for interest and drainage. And take a look at the perennials we chose; all are rugged, dependable and fit the proportions of the space. Nothing could be worse than having to dig and remove specimens on a regular basis that have outgrown their allotted segment. We chose a complementary mix of rudbeckia, verbena, salvia, rosemary, and other specimens chosen for their growth habits (more rounded than tall, more cascading than upright)….