Poet Commentaries

Making Pathways

because this post has “a moral” and a bit of fiction I make it here on my writing web site.  I have included a video of my grandson’s point of view.  I may have egged on his imagination a bit and worked with him to make the start of our path and meadow garden.  He may therefore have changed the reason for the path and that is great…any path through nature is exactly what nature wants.

Bonus.  This path will be fun, will be through a butterfly garden and the space will be just as useable as it was as a lawn.  Note the planters for possible vegetables or sitting areas….


The more I think about it the more I am a lifestyle coach not a garden consultant.  At no time is this more evident than when I plan paths through a garden or decide which paths to pave and make permanent.

I am taking the dog with me on this write and I am starting at your back door.  All paths must start somewhere after all and dogs are great path builders. 

One goal today is to create a path through a future meadow and a stand of trees to a public footpath.  I send out the dog’s master to stand where the path will end.  When he is there the dog is called.  I follow the dog through the yard and the back gate.  I mark his path through the meadow and the trees.

To get a second opinion I send out his son and mark his route.  Around that low branch a wider berth is taken by the boy; the thistles too are avoided.  His path also doubles back at places where he has misjudged where his father is.  The child needs to be sent out several times to get the path right.

This path will not be permanent.  There is little sense in digging up the vegetation when creating it.  In fact the reasons for creating it are suspect.  The lad is too young to travel by himself from his home to this public path and the dog should be leashed or under control.  Why is this path important at all and, if a client agrees it is important, how are some ways to create this path easily?

A wise father will let his dog and child make it.  He will each morning rise up and place at the crossroads of his property and the public path a hunk of meat, an inspiration.  One of the duties of his child will be to to go out and bring the dog to his meal.  Before long the grass will stop growing, limbs will be bent back and a very beautiful line will be created.  

This path will become one of the best features of your garden.  I cannot quite make clear in words the effect it will have on you when sitting with guests on your back deck nor how many comments it will solicit but it is wonderful.  

Perhaps it could be that the guests you entertained arrived on this path.  Perhaps you first met them when they appeared in the meadow behind your house. They could have been those people on the community trail that noticed your sidetrack and wondered where it went.  They may have blushed at first on feeling like they have encroached but you wiped that feeling away with a friendly wave and cheerful small talk.

Your concrete drive in the front of your house is not quite the same.  Well, I guess it could be if you sat on your front porch and learned how to interact; if you sent your child out to play on the lawn or walked your dog.  

If you are very very good it is plausible that someone besides the mailman will use your front walk.  Possibly you have the wisdom and wit to over time to draw a neighbour off the walk to enjoy a coffee with you whilst you communitivicate. (spell check and auto correct allows me to use this word apparently) Perhaps you will walk up your neighbours walk?  

Please note.  These paths are not easy and the author knows this. They take time and there needs to be some controls to make sure they are not wore out.  Have you ever seen how a dog will destroy grass next to a fence as he runs back and forth barking at the neighbor’s cat or at people coming by?
Yup, path building is tough.



(for a video you can click here)

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