Hundred best books on landscape architecture

We have begun updating the list of 100 Best Books on Landscape Architecture and would be pleased to have suggestions for additions – since it has does not yet have 100 books. There are overlaps with garden design, urban design, architecture and planning. For the convenience of second hand book buyers we have added links to the Abebooks website (from which books can be ordered and delivered to any country). What are your favourite books?

17 thoughts on “Hundred best books on landscape architecture

  1. Mike

    Landscape design : a cultural and architectural history by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers.

    “No other survey comes close to what this book offers…will inform, inspire, and satisfy…” — Landscape Design Magazine, February 1, 2004

  2. Marian

    Because all landscape architects should be gardeners, my constant rereads are The Education of A Gardener, by Russell Page, and The Well Tempered Garden by Christopher Lloyd.

    For English Landscapes in their social context I loved The English Garden by Charles Quest-Ritson and The Arcadian Friends by Tim Richardson.

    And where on this list is Garden History Philosophy and Design 2000 BC-2000 AD by Tom Turner?!

  3. Tom Turner Post author

    Thank you for the suggestions. I agree about Russell Page and Christopher Lloyd and have not yet read the other 2 books. Although I agree about the inter-dependence of landscape and garden design theory, I am not sure that ‘all’ landscape architects have to be gardeners (and I cannot not take up your latter suggestion for ‘personal reasons’).

  4. Mike

    Looking through your list again it all seems very English speaking. You have the Katsura Imperial Villa and the Taj Mahal in your list of top 10 gardens and there are a host of other Japanese landscapes and a few Islamic ones that merit study by anyone interested in landscape architecture. (I seem to recall reading that Escher got the idea for his tessellated designs after visiting the Alhambra.) Surely the list needs to include a couple of books about these cultures?

    My nomination for Japanese gardens would be Japanese Garden Design by Marc P. Keane and for Islamic landscapes it would be Islamic Gardens and Landscapes by D. Fairchild Ruggles.

    I see that you have a couple of books with ecology in the title but I would like to see one on the list that is about landscape design as biomimicry – like Ecology for Gardeners but on a grander scale. Perhaps such a book exists but I haven’t found it yet.

  5. ryan

    Residential Landscape Architecture: Design Process for the Private Residence by booth and Kiss
    I know a couple of different landscape architects who pull that book out whenever they have to hand render. And the book gives a solid foundation on residential design.

  6. Gordon Evans

    How about “Perennials and their garden habitats” by Richard Hansen and Friedrich Stahl? By taking a radically different approach to that of Gertrude Jekyll, backed up by decades of research at the trial gardens in Weihenstephan, Hansen and Stahl laid the framework for maintainable and sustainable herbaceous plantings on the grand scale in the public realm, at the same time completely redefining the aesthetic range of this kind of planting, taking it out of the “gardens of a golden afternoon” category and putting it in a far more challenging category.

  7. Chris Ellis

    I would recommend William Marsh’s book “Landscape Planning: Environmental Applications”. If Design with Nature provides a basic framework for regional design, Landscape Planning begins to fill in the details.

    An excellent companion book that bridges environmental design into regional planning is Environmental Land Use Planning and Management by John Randolph. This book–also expanding on the work of Ian McHarg–covers the basic regulatory and management frameworks that directly affect landscape architecture practice.

    Both of these books are helpful for teaching/learning about landscape planning.

  8. Colin

    Ann Spirn’s more recent book “The Language of Landscape” seems an important theoretically-oriented text: it is an exploration of the ideas and concepts informing landscape design in a range of different environments. I’d advocate for its inclusion.

  9. Tom Turner Post author

    Thank you for the suggestion. I will re-read Spirn’s book but, in comparison with the Granite Garden in in view of the fascinating title, I remember being disappointed by the Language of Landscape when I first read it.

  10. Lawrence

    Some interesting suggestions have come out of a post on ‘Linked In’: “What are the ten most important texts for a Landscape Architect/ Urban Planner?”

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    Now that LARCH-L has lost its pre-eminence as a forum, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find one’s way through all the information on offer. Perhaps it’s time for a “Hundred Best Online Landscape Forums”?


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