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Wood paves the way handsomely.

These garden paths are not difficult to install, and durable if you use pressure-treated lumber

SERPENTINE, staggered, or straight, these pathways wind, zigzag, or climb through five Western gardens. Despite their different shapes, they all put wood under your feet.

Using wooden surfaces for outdoor living isn't anything new--that's the role that decks have played for many years. But paths made with wood add natural textures in unexpected ways. And unlike building a concrete walk, building a wooden path is a project most homeowners can tackle.

For good reason, wood was long overlooked as a pathway surface until the advent of pressure-treated timber impregnated with preservatives. Untreated wood is vulnerable to rot, mildew, and chewing insects. Even redwood isn't entirely immune to nature's erosive forces.


Pressure-treated lumber is the best bet for framing a ground-level path. If you build one, be sure to obtain lumber that's specifically developed for ground contract and stamped as such. Specify lumber with a retention level of 0.40; "retention" refers to the amount of preservative in the wood. (The pressure-treated wood typically used for aboveground decking has a 0.25 retention level and is not recommended for inground construction.)

With the exception of the path of "flagstones," which are made of creosote-soaked railroad ties, all the paths shown here use pressure-treated lumber for soil-to-wood contact. For the pair of redwood-topped paths shown on the left-hand page, West Sacramento landscape designer Michael Glassman used pressure-treated 4-by-4s for ground-level beams on concrete footings to support the dressier surfaces.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:wooden garden paths
Author:Whiteley, Peter O.
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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