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

July 31, 2016

How, and why, to create a gardener's access path

If you made the mistake of planting plants right up against the base of your house, you have two problems. The worst of which is for your house, as the plants and the moisture are very bad for the foundation and walls, and another is that you have no access to the back side of your plants.

I did everything wrong when I bought my house, and planted right up against the the walls. Then I found that it was just about impossible to get in to prune and weed. So little by little, I've been moving the plants away from the walls.

And that's a good start, but you also need to provide yourself, the gardener, with access that won't require you to walk in mud. And that means some stepping stones. So the first step is to find some stepping stones. I hate artificial stuff in the garden, so I use big fairly-flat rocks. I dig them down so that they don't wobble, and I check to see that water flows off of them (I don't want to walk on slippery rocks!).

The next step is to fill the gap between the wall and the stepping stones with river rocks. This makes it look much nicer, and helps to keep everything from turning into a muddy mess after a rain.

As you can see, I've started creating a gardener's path there along the east wall of my house in the Outback. This has been a neglected area for a long time, and when I have gone back there I've had to avoid stepping in mud, stepping on small plants, and just plain slipping and falling.

The walking area is where you see the flat rocks. Obviously, I'm going to need a lot more river rocks to fill in the area between them and the wall. And luckily, the only plants that I needed to move were some tiny water lillies. That cycad there is as close as I want anything to be to the wall, at least half a meter.

When this project is completed, it will allow me safer access to that area, protect the foundation and walls of my house, and just look a whole lot better. Gotta go get more river rocks!
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