Garden, Design, and Landscape Books List

I have lists, and during this time of year, while they are shoved in my pocket or purse, they seem to get together and make more lists…my ‘To Do’ list seems to have hooked up with my ‘Grocery List’ to spawn a ‘thanksgiving dinner’ list. My ‘For the Kids’ list, ‘House projects’ list, and ‘Other’ list seem to have mutated into various forms of ‘Christmas Lists’….My ‘Blog Article’ List and my ‘Garden’ List are thankfully starting to cohabitate so I can cut down to one. But now I have to come up with another list….the “what do I want for Christmas” list. My mother hounds me for it every year, and I always tell her ‘books’– “check on amazon for my list”, but she doesn’t listen and I get pottery. I don’t think she thinks they are work it. So I thought I would put my wish list here,….and you can let me know if they are any good. First though, I will start with my own top 5 (ok 6) favorite landscape design books here and maybe you can find something for your own ‘list’ .

#1 “A Child’s Garden” by Molly Dannenmaier. — It’s out of print, but so worth it if you can get your hands on one…my own search lasted months and I paid at least twice the cover price. But now there is a new version…not sure if it is as good as the original but since you will pay a fraction of the cost for the out of print version it is probably worth it.
A Child’s garden cover

“The Modern Japanese Garden” by Michiko Rico Nose. – Inspiring for every type of garden – not just Japanese.
The modern Japanese garden

#2 Gardening with Conifers by Adrian Bloom – This book could convince me to never buy or specify another ‘flower’ again. The tapestry of coniferous colors and wealth of information are amazing. Now if I could just convince growers to supply half the stuff in the book….
Gardening with conifers

#3 “Tropical Design” – Daab – A complete design book of inspiring pictures, but if you are working anywhere in the tropics it will get you into the right mind set. No real text to mention here – just photos and mostly architectural – but worth it even for landscape designers.
Tropical Design

#4 “Courtyard Gardens, Imaginative Ideas for Outdoor Living” by Toby Musgrave. – A well edited, good, all round book of ideas. Good photography makes it especially handy for use with clients to show ideas.
Courtyard Gardens

#5 “Pools and Spas” by Alan E Sandersfoot. – A great inspiration for pool and spa makers- provides plans and details of contractors and architects for each amazing design. A really great resource for pool designers.
Pools and Spas

Thats it– let me know if you agree. I will post my personal wish list tomorrow.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. Michelle Derviss on November 26, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I picked up the book , ‘ The Modern Japanese Garden’ at my local library last week.
    Thoroughly enjoyed it and would think that it would be right at home in any professional landscape designers library.
    I gleaned through the Pools and Spas book a while ago at an upscale book store in Berkeley CA , and as I recall, it had some nice design projects depicted but it didn’t move me enough to purchase it.

    The hardest thing for me to manage during this current economical downturn is passing up a good book to add to my library.

    Nice blog site by the way, very enjoyable !


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