This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

November 29, 2013

Discouraging people from walking across the garden

Nothing says "cranky old guy" as much as telling people to stay off your lawn, or out of your garden. But us cranky old guys know that there are watering heads that can be kicked and broken, and small plants growing that can be stepped on and crushed.

Fortunately, there is a way to say it without really saying it, and while increasing the beauty of your garden. Using agaves and cactus. Nothing says "don't walk here" like razor sharp plants. But it does take some care to do it right.

People will tend to take the shortest route, even if it means walking across a garden. It's just human nature, that's just the way it is. In the photo you can see the line of sight from the sidewalk to the garage from the sidewalk. People aren't walking across a garden, or a lawn, to be rude, it just makes sense. So the first thing to do is to go sight the line where it would make sense to walk, and then block it.

Now be careful here. Putting jagged plants next to where people are supposed to walk is just plain stupid. So allow a LOT of space from the edge of a sidewalk, or driveway. Once the plants are in place, watch their growth. If they start to outgrow the space, trim them or get rid of them. The idea is beauty to be admired from a safe distance.
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