Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener
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Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  113 ratings  ·  13 reviews
With the same warmth, wisdom, wit, and accessibility that readers have come to love and trust in her monthly column, House & Garden editor in chief Dominique Browning offers this lively, charming, and instructive story of restoring a neglected suburban garden.
When a retaining wall in Browning's New York suburban garden collapsed, she was forced into action. Paths of...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 8th 2005 by Scribner (first published 2004)
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Mar 25, 2008 JayeL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2007
The editor of Home and Garden has written this book about
redoing her garden. Some of it is interesting and some of it is hard to read or a little too self indulgent. Lots of references to different kinds of plants and relations with neighbors. It is an excellent description of how a defined project can grow from “adding a few plants to the garden” to taking out trees, both living and dead, repaving the driveway, replacing bricks in the front walk, etc. I didn’t finish the book, because I got tir...more
I am not a gardener but immensely appreciate the labors and bounty of others who are. Dominique Browning brings her garden to life in the pages of this book, not so much as a recitation of the plants that are in it, but instead a soulful and heartfelt personal journal of the meaning those plants and their layout around her home have in her life at the time she is writing. My favorite essays are those about her trees and the impending loss of them due to rot and neglect. I could have done with a...more
Feb 19, 2008 Claire rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: daydreaming gardeners
I adored this book. It helped with my terrible February doldrums and also added to my gardening daydreams. I probably should have read her first book first. And at first I was annoyed with a character only being referred to as "True Love" but it grew on me. The map in the beginning is a nice touch too.

Now I'm pondering who will let me scheme my way into their garden as soon as spring comes so I can work and play in the dirt (and occaisionally lull about among flowers and trees.)
I really, really enjoyed this, even though I only picked it up, from a table at the library, because of the cover.

This is a series of connected essays, on gardening on a suburban plot (albeit a lavish one, I infer), which also seem to be about making one's way through adult life.

A good bedside table book -- I read one essay/chapter a night for a couple of weeks and looked forward to it.
Very believable book on the average suburban gardener with all the whims, foibles and feuds. Browning is honest and sometimes humorous through the presentation of her life and the entire process of renovating her garden.
Truthfully, I prefer Ackerman's voice, research and desire to teach. But the authors are really too different to compare fairly.
Book Club April selection. This was cute and once I got into it a pretty quick read. Anyone who has gardened for very long will be able to relate to much of this woman's experiences - although her landscape is much more mature than mine.
This was a good read, but not as good as Around the House and In the Garden. Still, I like Browning's warm writing style--it is like reading a really thoughtful letter from a friend.
I'm sure this is a very nice book for someone, just not me. I gave myself permission to stop when it just didn't grab me after 75 pages.
This is a gread read for anyone that loves to garden! If you don't "love" to garden, it's not for you!
Dec 31, 2009 Relyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: amateur interior decorators
Recommended to Relyn by: I love the author from her magazine editor days
This isn't as good as her first book of essays, but it's still very good. I do love a good essay.
Susan Hanberry
I really liked this book. She articulated many of my ideas about gardening and life.
One of my favorite authors - fun for all you gardeners out there.
loved it! A fun and fast read.
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Dominique Browning writes a monthly column called Personal Nature for the Environmental Defense Fund website. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review and also writes for O, Body + Soul, Wired, and Travel & Leisure, among other publications. Before House & Garden she worked at The Edison Project, Mirabella, Newsweek, Texas Monthly, and Esquire. She is the author of Ar...more
More about Dominique Browning...
Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness Around the House and in the Garden: A Memoir of Heartbreak, Healing, and Home Improvement The New Garden Paradise: Great Private Gardens of the World The Well- Lived Life House of Worship: Sacred Spaces in America

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