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Garden Surfaces Review

Garden Surfaces is subtitled 20 Projects for Paths Decks Steps Patios Edgings and is more of a landscaping book then a gardening book. As such, it provides a number of interesting design ideas for sprucing up the walkways and patios in your yard as well as edgings on flower beds. Garden Surfaces guides you through the planning and construction of the various projects.

Garden Surfaces runs about 135 pages with plenty of full-color photographs to illustrate project ideas. It is a paperback book, though the cover is quite sturdy, with a cover price of $16.95.

The book is divided into the following sections:


This covers the basics of planning a garden landscape as well as information on tools and techniques.


This chapter is about 30 pages long and contains projects for building stepping-stones, a wood chip and log rounds path, a railroad tie and gravel path, a boardwalk across water, a granite and gravel path, a straight brick path with a corner, and a curved sett path.

Edgings and Trims

This section focuses on adding edging to your plant or flower beds. It includes information on how to construct: timber edging, toothed brick edging (bricks that have been cut at an angle and form a slanting border around your plant bed), a mowing edge (flat brick borders that won't confound your lawnmower when you mow next to your landscaped areas), and a rock edge.


Whether you're adding one step, or a series of steps, this section can give you some ideas and show you how to install various types of steps. It covers four projects: railroad tie steps, brick steps, wooden decks steps, and natural stone steps.


Types of patio surfaces discussed in this chapter are textured slab patio, circular patio (cut stones radiate outward in a circular shape from a point in the center), stone and brick patio, cobblestone patio, and decking patio.


Garden Surfaces concludes with sections on maintenance and repair, an index, and a list of suppliers.

Garden Surfaces is a fairly useful book, and the projects do not require a great deal of landscaping experience. Particularly handsome looking projects are the circular patio, natural stone steps, and the wood chip and log rounds path. I think I would stay away from the projects that use a multitude of tiny stones--between dogs and kids and lawnmowers, they would probably end up all over the yard. No matter what your preferences, there are plenty of projects to select from Garden Surfaces.

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