When Planning A Garden - First Address The Walkways
As Jim first does in any garden, he tries to look at the walkways. The walkways are what guide the viewer through the garden and what they're going to be able to see. So he had to first, and he knows from experience, always try to follow the topography. Once you follow the topography, you will have more gentle level walkways. This hillside was so hilly, he knew it was going to be a difficult task to do that. What he had to do was first think about, “How do we complete those walkways?” He knew to get a gentle slope they were going to have to bring in a tremendous amount of fill dirt. There's a tremendous amount of elevation change here. Presently they're down in the valley, but looking up to the top of this garden, Eric guesses the change is 60, 70 feet of elevation change just from where we are here.
Jim comments - 150 feet. Now that's to the manor house. So from where we're standing now to the crest, that's 150 feet of change all the way up to the house. But this garden is probably just half of that so Eric is right, it's about 70, 75 feet of change in elevation in this one area.
That means thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS OF CUBIC YARDS OF SOIL go into this. And that is an important part of the planning for a garden, being able to look at a space and think in advance about those kind of things that are very difficult to change after the fact. If one doesn't get the paths correct then it becomes an uncomfortable garden for people to navigate. It’s very, very hard to go back later and change that. That's why the planning and having a budget is a huge part of the bones of a garden that ultimately allow it to be something that will survive for generations and be something the public will enjoy well after all of us are gone.