For readers considering doing their own landscaping for the first time, the home improvement experts at This Old House offer a full-color, traditional how-to of modern American landscaping. This isn't Landscaping for Idiots-it assumes a certain amount of handiness on the part of the reader, who also must know how to use graph paper. Mainly, the book provides an overview of the entire landscaping process, from the initial planning to the satisfaction of laying down the plants. The editors cover all the basics: patios, paths, benches, hot tubs, children's play areas, arbors, decks, pools, ponds, fountains, trees, shrubs and perennials. Several chapters contain step-by-step instructions on smaller projects, such as installing low-voltage outdoor lighting and making a simple patio fountain. Helpful hints are dispersed throughout on how to choose between sprinklers and drip irrigation, the best way to estimate concrete and gravel amount, and how to correctly choose a tree. Before and after photos provide inspiration, and the easy-to-read, magazine-style layout allows for interruption of the text with relevant pictures, graphics and illustrations. This might not be the only book readers will need to successfully make over their yards, but it's nevertheless worth a small space in their landscaping libraries. (Jan.) Forecast: This Old House publishes a magazine and has a Web site that claims more than 700,000 unique visitors per month. Those outlets should help promote this book, which is the first title in a new series of books published by This Old House. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.