New Hampshire Walkways
(Landscapes by Tom)
Walkways. What can we say? Everybody uses them. So, how are New Hampshire walkways different? Easy – they’re in New Hampshire! Seriously though; Walkways are an important feature in our landscapes. We want them to be both functional and beautiful. Walkways also need to be safe and easy to traverse. New Hampshire, just by the mere fact that we have so many hilly grades and rough terrains, provides a designer with the best design opportunities ever! Designers love to see opportunities where a surprise can await you around the next bend. Also, designers love to see places where we can create beautiful steps, go around big boulder outcroppings, and come around a bend just to see the next view! All of these are ways in which New Hampshire walkways are unique.
What kind of opportunities does your yard present for an interesting walkway? Just having a walk from the driveway to the front door isn’t enough. We want to enjoy ALL of our property. Walking through our property on a path is better than just going over grass or through brush. Perhaps you have a wooded area where there is a river down the bank. How about creating a woods path, with wood mulch as the walking surface, and flat stones as steps? You can create your own ‘hiking’ path. All along this path, you may want to plant woodland flowers such as trillium. Or, maybe your yard has several buildings on it. You can create a path to these buildings where you normally would walk. This creates the “bones” for even more landscape design opportunities. Maybe your walks could incorporate a ‘hub’ type junction where several paths converge, and this could create an opportunity to make a planting bed, or even a small water feature in the center island of these walks.
New Hampshire walkways often have to be winter maintained. If you need to maintain a particular walk in the winter, make sure you keep in mind snow removal. Some walk surfaces are easier to shovel than others. Some New Hampshire walkways are walked on barefoot all summer long because they go from the beach area, up a slope, to the house. If you like to go barefoot, then choose your path surface accordingly.
Whatever kind of walk you need or want, we suggest that you always consider a walkway to be a ‘design opportunity’. Why settle for just getting from one place to another when you can also enjoy that walk? Why not walk past beauty, and frame your views? Walkways truly are one of the backbones in good landscape design.