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Planting the Landscape: A Professional Approach to Garden Design

Nancy A. Leszczynski
New York: Wiley
Publication Date: 

cloth, 208 p., $59.95.

As a horticulturist and landscape architect, Nancy Leszczynski brings a unique and refreshing approach to explaining garden design by including discussions about plants at every step. There are many excellent books on landscape design principles and architecture as well as books on plant material, but none combines design principles with practicalities — until now. The preface of this book includes the following comment:

"This book is written for students, professionals, and gardeners interested in learning to design with plants. Its purpose is to present design principles applied to plant composition in combination with sound environmental practices. The method it presents provides a tangible starting place in a step-by-step format. In the process, special emphasis is placed on historic precedent as a source of inspiration and information."

In addition, Leszczynski includes planting and maintenance as key elements of the planting design process.

The book is logically organized, and wonderfully illustrated with photographs and plan drawings that support the book's theme. At the end, there is a brief, but useful, glossary and a bibliography. The resources listed in the bibliography are many of the classics that most professionals should be aware of and students should begin to acquire; unfortunately, the bibliography seems to be incomplete, with references listed for only half of the book's chapters.

Planting the Landscape is accessible, clear and precisely written. It is an excellent companion for landscape design and landscape architecture professionals and students.

— Candice A. Shoemaker