backyard brick path separates lawn and lounge from dining deck
Photo: Mark Lohman
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Lesson 2: Go Big with Hardscape

Don't try to maximize space by undersizing steps and walkways; paths should be at least 4 feet across, says Eagleton. Skimpy paved areas look out of scale with your house—even modest homes present a large structure to work against—and they will shrink further once plants grow in around them. Eagleton widened the existing steps and landings in his entry court and replaced the original dark brown concrete with colored, patterned concrete that mimics the flagstone of his retaining wall and ties the garden more fully to the house.

Shown: The backyard's brick path, a straight shot from rear gate to kitchen doors, separates the lawn and lounge from the dining deck.
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