Sunday, August 26, 2012

Further down the garden path

A couple of days ago a Dirt Diaries reader visited my posting Leading You Down the Garden Path and commented that my new trail would look fabulous once finished.

That post was written on March 13th.

It occurred to me that between gardening, writing, golfing, traveling, entertaining guests and demolishing the kitchen I hadn't updated the progress of the project since then.

So thank you Karen from Australia,  author of the lovely blog A Gardener's Life, for giving me a dope slap and reminding me I needed to tell the rest of the story. 

Getting from here to there

The plan was to build a walkway from the house down to the waterfall. The hope was to get from here to there without falling down the mountain or ruining my jeans slip-sliding my way to the bottom.

There was no official design design aside from some rough pencil sketches. I explained my vision to our builder Alfredo and he took my thoughts to places I had not even envisioned.

He started by leveling out some natural walkways that would become the path and created a more gentle slope in the steeper areas.

He used 6" by 6" pressure treated spruce to build the steps and filled the interior with creek stone.The posts and hand rails are crafted from local locust. Pine bark mulch was laid down between step sections.

I could not have imagined how amazing it would all look in the end.
The first few steps are built to begin the project

    Ferns and hostas now line the steepest slope of the trail       

    Alfredo and his helpers dug out the area that would become the patio
    A stone wall is build around the entire patio

    The view from across the stream. Ferns, impatiens and a turtle cocktail table!
    The trail begins next to the house and winds down to the stream

    Steps had to be built from the driveway to the path

    Another stone wall was built to keep the hillside from eroding

    The view of the completed path from the deck

    A clematis likes its new home on one of the posts

    Nameplates mark plants of interest along the trail

    Chickadees soon took up residence in one of six birdhouses

    The trail is now finished except for new plants I'll add as time goes on. More ferns and natives (including Doll's Eyes and Pussytoes) are on the wish list.

    Next spring we will hold a little dedication ceremony and christen "Curly's Trail" to honor my Dad who loved the mountains, wildflowers, birds and birdhouses.

    I think he would be pleased.


    Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

    Oh Lynn, this is beautiful!! Your slope is steeper than mine...but you live in the mountains. What a wonderful pathway down to the patio. Just lovely!! I had thought about doing steps, but ours would be fewer and further between each. For now the pathway is just mulched. Will see if our rocks will help slow the water from washing out with each rainstorm.

    Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

    Just saw your sidebar, loving REK!! We have seen him three times since moving to SC, in 2010!!

    jason said...

    How wonderful to have a patio right by your own waterfall. The path looks very natural and enticing.

    Karen said...

    This is more than fabulous Lynne, you lucky devil the path is spectacular i am so glad you have shared this with us. Enjoy.

    Karen said...

    I just had to write something else it just looks so beautiful where you are, i am sure your dad would be very pleased.

    The Principal Undergardener said...

    Lynn, this is/was a serious project! Beautifully imagined and executed with more than the usual amount of environmental sensitivity. The notion that it evolved from a few pencil sketches seems either to sell your descriptive powers or Alfredo's interpretive ones.

    All that seems to be missing is a sign indicating that bears are not welcome!

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Janet,so glad you enjoyed seeing the trail. We lined the mulch parts with locust which seems to have helped keep the pine bark from washing away. And Alfredo actually put in more steps than I expected.

    My husband discovered Robert Earl Keen on an edition of Austin City Limits. We especially love "I like doin' nothin" (it's something that I do).

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Jason, we look forward to sitting by the stream this fall. I've put a torch down there but with all our rain it has been a bit buggy.

    I am loving the chance to add things that prefer shade. It's opened up a whole new world for me (and it gives me more opportunities to buy seeds and plants!!)

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Karen, I appreciate your kind words about the path and my dad. I know he is smiling down on us. And thank you again for prompting me to write about it! I hope American readers will visit your beautiful blog -- I'll be adding a link.

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Hi Neal, yes it turned out to be a bigger project than I originally imagined but I am so pleased with the results.I do give Alfredo so much credit for enhancing my ideas. He is a very talented young man.

    And sadly, my bears can't read. Neither can the wascally wabbits who have been snacking on the 68 hostas I planted! I rescued them from the main garden (we inherited them) where they were suffering from too much sun, cut them into pieces and replanted. Even with the bunnies they are better off lining the trail.

    Sunil Patel said...

    Hi Lynn, that must have been a very big project and the steps down to the waterfall look beautifully made. Cream teas at on the patio by the waterfall...I can imagine it now. It'll look even better once the hostas, clematis and other plants take off and fill either side of the pathway and spill over onto it. I hope your hostas do get a chance to become established and don't end up as animal food.

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Hi Sunil, Earl Grey or English Breakfast Tea? And we'll have chocolate cake as well down by the stream! I would love that!

    The hostas are doing well but as I said in my reply to Neal, some bunnies appear to be snacking on them. One amazing thing is how ferns have started growing in the stone wall cracks and are appearing all along the trail. I will take more photos and do an update soon. Hope all is well in London!

    Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

    It's people like you that put us out of work, Lynn :-) What a fantastic job. Love, love , love, the fence made from logs and the stone walls which are so Carolina. And of course the sound and sight of the stream only adds to your mountain paradise. I know for a fact that your Dad would be pleased. Who wouldn't ?

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Thank you Carolyn! The project included some inspiration, some luck and Alfredo's talents with stones and logs. I'm certainly no professional! And you are right about Dad. He'd be sitting down there now by the stream if he were still with us.

    Skeeter said...

    It is awesome! Looks like something one would see in a National Park! Great job and an wonderful looking spot to relax and enjoy nature....

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Thanks Skeeter. We are enjoying working on it and will spend the winter picking out new plants to add next year. Just put in some ground cover roses in an area that gets good sun. Always room for one more rose!

    Rose said...

    Oh my goodness, Lynn, what a beautiful place you have! Woods, a stream, and a waterfall, too--I'd never want to leave! The new path looks lovely; Alfredo did a great job using materials that make the path and railing look like a natural extension of the landscape. It also looks easier to navigate and much safer than some of the places we visited last May; those of us used to nothing but level ground would appreciate this:)

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Thanks so much Rosalie. Before work started on the trail I told Alfredo I sometimes have balance issues, so he worked hard to make it easy to navigate. You are so right, some of the lovely gardens we saw in May had steep paths! Come on over for a visit and we'll sit by the waterfall with a glass of wine!

    HolleyGarden said...

    Oh, Wow! What a beautiful trail! Love those steps. And I could sit there on that patio next to the stream for hours. Now I know why you forgot to post about it - you were too busy enjoying it! :)

    Lynn Hunt said...

    You are so right HolleyGarden! Every time I go down to the stream I don't want to come back up. Just learned my wifi works there so I won't miss listening to my tunes. (Now all I need is a mini-bar!)

    Lynn Hunt said...

    Thanks so much Chante!! Please visit again (:

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