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The same basic techniques for creating nests in a room space can be used in a walkway. This pathway does it all. A beautiful vista is created by the archway and the opening at its end, drawing visitors to explore the tunnel. If that tunnel were closed at the end, it would seem spooky instead of exhilarating and inviting. A vista is a must!
Another must: the encompassing plantings over the arch. Without the addition of grapevines, climbing roses or other climbing plants, an archway can can seem too empty.
Open skies and a path carved out of the plains doesn't have to feel exposed. You can absolutely create a nest effect amongst fields of shimmering golden wheat or goldenrod. First things first: Pick a field that has a good amount of growth. This field is 2-3 foot high and offers protection on two sides, while maintaining a vista that surrounds the walkers. If the plantings are too high (think corn maze!), the walkway will feel dangerous and claustrophobic instead of restful and peaceful. After you have chosen the best field, choose a few choice trees and situate entrances, exits and curves by those trees. It gives the walker an end goal, a place to stop that is protected.
A tree on a path like this offers the same effect as the end of the archway in the photo at the start of this story. As you mow through the field, create wide, arching curves to allow walkers to feel protected — without feeling like they are in a mouse-trap game.
If you are impatient for a beautiful path, you have options! One option is to plant fast-growing trees such as birch, poplar, aspen or willow. They do not have as grand of a presence as oaks, walnut or hemlock, but they give the same feel of a towering allée. Make sure to cut off any side branches under 10-12 feet for a high canopy. If you leave all of the branches to grow, the path will seem like a forest as opposed to an allée. Also notice the entrance created by the two sections of fence in the foreground. This entrance area gives the stroller a stopping and starting point similar to the large trees used in the goldenrod field.
This is the walker's view at the end of this particular path. Although it is wide open at the moment, there is a new archway and a series of baby trees planted to create a second restful walkway. Notice how the bulk planting on the left draws your eye towards the right and the follows the angle of the second set of plantings?