Six books every landscaper should read

Updated Dec 16, 2021
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Landscaping is a pleasurable job, but it isn’t always an easy one!

There are tons of methods and approaches to landscaping, and it can be difficult to keep up with the newest trends and latest advice.

So, without hesitation, here are the best of the best when it comes to technical landscaping books, guides and tutorials.guest-post-attribution-box

1. Landscape Design, Cultural and Architectural History by Elizabeth Barlow Rodgers

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of landscape gardening, then look no further than Rodgers’ encyclopedia of landscape design in her book Landscape Design, Cultural and Architectural History.

The book covers a superb collection of landscape designs throughout history and across the world. With detailed commentary and beautiful illustrations, this book is a treasure trove of new and old ideas and gives a historical context to the field of landscape architecture.

2. Site Engineering for Landscape Architects by Steven Strom

This book is a must-have for any site engineer or planner. It offers a detailed and comprehensive introduction to complex concepts and approaches to landscape architecture.

The new edition also includes revised chapters on green infrastructure and water management and includes practical case studies to aid understanding and promote life long learning.

The book covers all features of landscape engineering, from landform design to essential concepts and practical guidance. This book is of great value to professionals who want to brush up on the latest knowledge or advanced landscaping students completing coursework.

3. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H.Whyte

This 80’s classic is still as relevant today as it was then. An often-neglected aspect of landscaping is the nature and form of urban green spaces.

Whyte conducted detailed studies and evaluations of some of the most famous urban landscapes in New York’s parks and plazas in an attempt to record how humans interact with urban street planning and how urban green spaces can make or break a great city.

This book is perfect for urban landscapers who are interested in the relationship between cities and nature and how to optimize planning.

4. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order by Francis Chang

Although this is formally a book on architecture, Architecture: Form, Space, and Order is highly rated among landscapers and greenspace planners.

Here, Chang elegantly describes the relationship between form and function with an emphasis on organizing and establishing unique forms that are aesthetically pleasing and practical.

This book is a great tool for those who struggle with scale and proportion and wish to improve their skills. Written in an easy to understand consistent language, Chang simply communicates complex ideas, perfect for any landscape design specialist with proficiency in spatial reasoning and conceptual design.

5. Design with Nature by Ian McHarg

Perhaps the most popular landscaping book for the 20th century, Design with Nature places great emphasis on how to harmonize manmade and natural environments.

McHarg has done a lot to reimagine the world of landscape architecture and offer a blueprint for enthusiastic landscapers who wish to promote naturalism into their design works. In the decades since its release, McHarg has done more for ecological design than most in the field.

The book moves away from the strictly scientific and technical aspects of landscape gardening to uncover the philosophical underpinnings of natural design concepts.

Design with Nature is a classic and a must-have on any serious landscapers’ bookshelf.

6. Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Gardening by Charles Harris

One of the most complete and up-to-date resources for landscape gardeners is Harris’ Time saver-Standards for Landscape Gardening.

Chock full of useful information on best management practices, vegetation restoration, site construction procedures and energy and resource conservation, the book is very detailed and is fully metric. Therefore, it can be easily understood by American and international audiences. This new edition expands on key concepts and simplified construction data and information.

This book is an inexhaustive resource for both professional libraries and advanced classrooms.

Bookshelves are stacked with great books on landscaping, authored by a variety of experts, so there is plenty of help out there if you’re looking for a new design idea, helpful tips or to refresh your skills and knowledge.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This article was written by Katherine Rundell. Katherine Rundell is a landscaper and editor at Custom Paper Writing Service UK and Buy Essay. She is a full-time grant application writer and offers her skills to small charities looking to access new sources of funds.

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