Landscape design can be an intimidating subject for even the most experienced gardener, and with good reason. Landscaping has to take into account a lot more considerations than gardening does, because you have the entirety of your yard to consider and it often involves a lot more construction projects then gardening. Landscapers are often found building walls, installing gravel paths, and using heavy power equipment. It can be very helpful to have a book to guide you on the subject, both for inspiration and planning and for specific step-by-step instructions.
1. Step-by-Step Landscaping by Better Homes and Gardens
This is the newest edition of Better Homes and Gardens’ best-selling landscaping book, with 408 pages including over 700 photos and 100 step-by-step projects. The projects focus on home landscaping, grading, planting, deck building,edging, wall building, fences, water gardens, outdoor kitchens, sculpture and more. This book also includes a plant encyclopedia with full color photos to help you plan your home landscape.
- Includes tons of how-to projects
- Includes over 700 photos
- Includes a full color plant encyclopedia
- Does not go into a lot of detail on any one subject
- More focused on plans than ideas
- Follows a magazine layout
2. Taylor’s Master Guide to Landscaping by Rita Buchanan
Taylor’s Master Guide to Landscaping is a great book for anyone learning to do their own home landscaping, whether you are an experienced gardener or if you are completely new to landscape design. This book covers how to choose plants that are appropriate to your climate, avoid common mistakes, plant your landscape and plan for future growth. It also covers creating an outdoor living room, and design and build walks, paths, steps, fences, walls and hedges. There are separate chapters dedicated to individual types of plants, covering care for trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers and perennials.
- Good for experienced gardeners or beginners
- A good comprehensive guide to landscape design and planning
- Includes very in depth instructions
- Not a lot of inspirational photos
- Does not cover patio design
- Some reviewers noted contradicting statements
3. The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden by Rick Darke
The Living Landscape takes a different approach to landscape design than many DIY landscaping books. This book shows how to have a home landscape that not only provides beauty and structure to your yard, but also nourishes and fosters wildlife. This book teaches strategies for creating and maintaining a home landscape that meets your needs and preferences while also serving the needs of the wildlife communities in your local area. It covers native plants in detail and how they can work together to attract wildlife and keep it coming back.
- Covers native plants
- Focuses on conservation
- Teaches you the skills needed to attract wildlife
- Does not cover how-to projects
- Does not cover traditional landscape design topics
- Only covers a certain ecoregion
Find more The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden information and reviews here.
4. Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy
Rosalind Creasy, the author of Edible Landscaping, first popularized landscaping with edibles over 25 years ago. Today, there is a lot of interest in healthy eating, organic gardening and growing your own food. Creasy is an expert on both landscaping design and edible plants, and her book has been considered a classic since it was published in 1982. This new edition has been expanded upon with over 300 full color photos for inspiration. This book covers in detail how to plan a home landscape using vegetables, fruits, nuts and berries that will be attractive as well as provide delicious food. The book also features appendices that cover planting and maintenance, pest control and organic practices.
- Includes over 300 color photographs of edible landscapes
- Has examples of gardens all across the country
- Focuses on an aspect of landscaping that other books do not cover
- Some reviewers stated that the format is hard to follow
- Some reviewers found the book to be repetitive
- A lot of the information can be found online
5. Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard by Pam Penick
Lawn Gone is another book that takes a fresh new approach to landscaping design. This book focuses on ways to design, plant and maintain a beautiful and functional landscape as a replacement for the standard lawn. This approach has a lot of benefits, including less watering, no mowing, and saving money. It covers topics such as alternative grasses that don’t need mowing, drought-tolerant plants, regional recommendations, artificial turf, and step-by-step instructions on removing your lawn. This is a great book for both beginners and experienced gardeners looking to change their attitude towards home landscaping.
- Focuses on sustainable landscaping practices
- Includes recommendations for all around the country
- Has a lot of new and innovative ideas
- Reviewers mentioned there are not a lot of photos
- Not all of the ideas focus on water-saving plants
- Not a very long book
Find more Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard information and reviews here.