If meadows, forests, and hills form attractive compositions for strolling, why introduce manmade objects and risk disrupting the natural harmony? The Rousham estate in Oxfordshire can again provide memorable answers. Dotted along its main path through woods and along the river are statues, seats, and little structures. These artificial insertions don’t disrupt the natural scenery. […]
To provide the harmonious settings strollers seek requires broad, yet site-specific cultural understanding, attention to details, and—dare we say it in these oh-so-post-Miss-Manners days—good taste. A rose garden may offer a broad, flat strolling path yet remain empty because thorny branches flop across the path. Strollers shun not only abandoned buildings and litter-strewn lots, but […]
Some of the most delightful strolling paths are designed for an hour of the day or a season of the year.
The Japanese Tea Garden’s roji, or stroll path, is designed to lead from the frenetic outer world to the peaceful inner one.
Ideally we stroll away from our day-to-day habitat into an area we think of as a wide-ranging world apart. Large parks or extensive natural areas clearly fill this bill, but so do small gardens and urban paths if they’re designed with extent and separateness in mind. A distinct boundary or a designed difference between a […]
Alone or in groups, strollers normally seek places easily reached, entered, and toured, so they seek routes with handy access, few decision points, and no conflicts. Any intelligent child should be able to follow a good strolling path. For adults strolling there, the mind is free to focus on conversations, inner thoughts, or nothing at […]
For gregarious or anonymous strolling among crowds, we want still wider, perhaps specially built promenades. These public strolling plazas can be isolated from city bustle, like the malls Olmsted designed inside major parks or, as is increasingly being done, they can be part of the city’s flow, like the pedestrian esplanades of the Champs Elysées […]
There has always been the walk with a friend, the companionable, social stroll in a quiet setting, to catch up, to share the news, to chat. A path to accommodate social strolls has requirements, but they are few.