In this launch of Chronicle's Garden Design series, horticulture writer White suggests that paths give a garden structure, much as a skeleton shapes a body. She notes that paths, by facilitating movement from place to another, have a narrative quiality. Such concepts as scale, symmetry (or asymmetry), curving and/or straight lines, materials (dirt, wood, stone, brick, etc.) and edging also contribute to a path's ultimate effect. These concepts and those specifically concerned with building different kinds of paths are lucidly and briefly addressed in the first two chapters. The rest of the book is devoted to detailed ""recipes"" for constructing 24 specific paths. Photographs of each path are accompanied by a list of the equipment and supplies (including plantings) required to build it and to satisfy its maintenance needs. Grouped according to material (e.g., Brick; Grass and Wood), the projects are also classified according to ease or difficulty and relative expense. Such elements as grade and climate are left to the reader to consider, as are the many variations that will certainly be required of any given project by specific sites. The projects, such as Fieldstones and Irises, embellished with boulders, marguerites, euphorbias and lamb's ears, or Herb Parterre, using gravel, crushed rock, metal edging and dwarf myrtles, will surely spark further ideas in the interested gardener, while White's matter-of-fact approach to their construction will help reluctant or intimidated gardeners get started along paths of their own. (Mar.) FYI: White's Water Gardens, another title in the series, is also being published in March.
Reviewed on: 02/02/1998 Release date: 02/01/1998 Genre: Nonfiction