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The Garden Maker's Manual covers all aspects of hard landscaping and structures — from paving and paths to water features, lighting, shelter, walls, and fences. Those aspiring garden designers looking for an excellent introduction to the art of landscaping, but who are not ready for Rosemary's more definitive Essential Garden Design Workbook, will want to have this book. It is an accessible and practical approach to garden landscaping written by the experts at The English Gardening School. With 150 photographs and 150 drawings, this manual will be a timeless reference.
Paths and paving are two vital elements necessary in almost every garden and, because they are highly visible features, it is essential that you explore their design and construction potential before buying materials and starting to build. The earth's surface can be vulnerable and fragile, especially where human beings, animals and vehicles constantly put pressure on it. The natural processes of precipitation — water, wind and frost — can dramatically erode it. Paths and paving serve a double purpose, protecting the earth's surface, while at the same time making it comfortable and pleasant to use.
Paths are the arteries of the garden leading you from one area to another and around bends and corners. A well considered path system. punctuated with focal points and resting places, could carry you round several acres without your making any conscious effort or even noticing the distance that you have travelled. Paths also form the lines of communication between house and garden, often shaping a major part of the layout by indicating and underlining the structure and providing a framework from which areas, spaces and features can be accessed. Paths can be manipulated in their width, thickness, colour, texture, direction, shape and flow. Bold lines will help to reinforce a strong, confident design, while gentle, understated paths may be appropriate in a more informal or naturalistic garden.
Paving can provide the essential link between indoors and outdoors, or a level platform for relaxing, viewing or stepping off to enjoy the rest of your garden. Paved areas may also be important for access to maintenance areas or as hardstanding for storing equipment.
Both paths and paving may combine with bridges, boardwalks or stepping stones — they can be straight, geometric and formal, perhaps slicing through the underlying shape of the land or hugging the curves of a sloping garden where they can help to define the organic shape. Paths can offer smoother textures, lighter colours and cooler surfaces (ideal in hotter climates); compact and stable materials for vehicles, softer (and inedible) materials for young children; easier surfaces for wheelchairs, children's prams and strollers; noisy surfaces to announce arrival and uncomfortable surfaces in areas close to danger or where you wish to discourage use.
Both relaxation and active use, as well as children's needs for bicycling or skate boarding, need to be considered and doors and gates opening across paths should be avoided. Gradients must also be suitable for the ability of users. Larger paved areas for tables and chairs should be flat and stable enough to prevent penetration of table and chair legs.
For centuries designers and builders have selected materials based upon local resources. They will have used clay bricks in an area where clay prevails, or local stone where this occurs naturally. Today materials suitable for paving come
|1||Paths & paving||12|
|2||Steps & ramps||38|
|4||Changing levels & containing earth||70|
|5||Fences, railings & gates||92|
|6||Timber decks & surfaces||112|
|7||Garden structures & furnishings||132|