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Natural Landscaping

See also: Native Plants, Botany and Gardens for Wildlife.

Selected Books

Culp, David L.
The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage
q SB473.C84 2012
David Culp has a garden in Eastern Pennsylvania where he specializes in perennials, grasses, bulbs and other long-lived plants that provide a changing landscape throughout the four seasons. Lots of photos.
 
Daniels, Stevie
The Wild Lawn Handbook: Alternatives to the Traditional Front Lawn
SB439.D36 1995
Are you tired of mowing the lawn every week and putting chemicals on it to keep it looking great? Here's a sustainable alternative.
 
Darke, Rick
The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest
q SB439.6.D27 2002
Darke, a landscape designer retired from Longwood Gardens, advocates a new aesthetic of gardening: "tending a modest piece of ground that is a part of the larger forest." Though focusing on the eastern deciduous forest, his philosophical and horticultural observations from longtime study of a native woodland stream habitat should appeal to all ecologically-responsible gardeners.
 
Druse, Kenneth
The Natural Garden
q SB457.53.D78 1989
The smartest thing in gardens now is the Natural Garden -- a landscape planted in harmony with nature that appears spontaneous, unstructured, and intentionally innocent. Taking inspiration for the environment--even from potential problems such as rock outcrops, wild trees, or steep slopes--and using native plants, wildflowers, and hardy perennials, natural gardeners have created colorful gardens that require a minimum of attention.
 
Druse, Kenneth
The Natural Habitat Garden
q SB439 .D66 1994
This classic by expert gardener and photographer Ken Druse shows how to create a beautiful garden using native plants. Druse has other books on natural gardening such as The Natural Shade Garden and his Natural Garden Guides
 
Forster, R. Roy and Alex Downie
The Woodland Garden: Planting in Harmony with Nature
SB439.6.F67 2004x
Viewing gardens as playing a key role in preserving threatened species and sharing favorite plants suitable for North America, master gardeners at Canadian botanical gardens explain woodland garden design, and plant selection and care.
 
Greenlee, John and Saxon Holt (Photographer)
The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn
SB439.G737 2009
This book won the Gold Medal from the Garden Writers Association (GWA) for Best Book of 2010. Although from California, Greenlee offers a lot of great ideas for converting your conventional lawn into a wilder more colorful meadow.
 
Hadden, Evelyn
Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives
SB473.H25 2012
Hadden documents the efforts of gardeners around the U.S. that have replaced their lawn with a more interesting palette of plants.
 
Hobhouse, Penelope
Penelope Hobhouse's Natural Planting
SB439.H62 1997bx
British garden designer Penelope Hobhouse discusses a variety of types of natural gardens from around the world, addressing different traditions of natural plantings, the idea of planting to suit plants' needs, woodland gardens, shrub borders, open ground, and water and gravel gardens.
 
Johnson, Lorraine
Grow Wild!: Low-Maintenance, Sure-Success, Distinctive Gardening with Native Plants
SB439.26.N7 J64 1998
An overview of native plant gardening with information covering the entire U.S.
 
Junker, Karan
Gardening with Woodland Plants
q SB439.6.J86 2007
Drawing on her own experience running a woodland nursery in Somerset, England, the author provides advice on the challenges of woodland gardening, including managing light levels, choosing the right plant for the right place and achieving the well-balanced soil structure that is often key to growing a variety of woodland plants.
 
Kingsbury, NoŽl
Natural Gardening in Small Spaces
q SB439.K55 2003
Kingsbury, from England, promotes naturalistic planting design (biodiversity, site-appropriate plantings and wildlife-friendly design) by explaining how to create a kind of mini-nature reserve in a backyard or other small space in urban and semi-urban areas -- even rooftops.
 
Mickel, John T.
Ferns for American Gardens
SB429.M515 2003
There's no more natural landscaping for Pittsburgh than the woodland garden and one of the great woodland foliage plants is the fern. Mickel lists many varieties that are appropriate for our zone.
 
The Undaunted Garden
Ogden, Lauren Springer
The Undaunted Garden: Planting for Weather-Resilient Beauty
SB473 .S68 1994
Lauren Springer Ogden of
Pland Driven Design describes the art and science of growing a beautiful year-round garden in difficult weather conditions, showing how to choose plants that will be resilient in North America's climatic extremes. A second edition was published in 2010.
 
Robinson, W. (William), 1838-1935 and Rick Darke
The Wild Garden (Expanded Edition)
This beautifully produced volume offers the complete 1895 5th edition of Robinson's landmark work, which established the concept of natural garden design now so prevalent. Darke, a Pennsylvania landscape designer, introduces the volume with an essay describing the concepts of Robinson's work, illustrated with color photos of gardens in the US and the UK that embody Robinson's design aesthetic.
 
Steiner, Lynn
Prairie-Style Gardens: Capturing the Essence of the American Prairie Wherever You Live
SB434.3.S74 2010
This Timber Press book by native plant specialist Steiner provides in-depth information on the grassland ecosystems that historically spanned the North American continent and details how gardeners and homeowners can use native plants to reclaim and conserve a portion of this natural heritage.
 
Thompson, Peter
The Self-Sustaining Garden: The Guide to Matrix Planting
SB439.T56 2007
Peter Thompson is an Englishman and the English tend to garden more than mow lawns. Many of the books on "natural landscaping" come from England and when reading them, you should keep in mind that what is "native" there, is not native in Pennsylvania.
 
Wiley, Keith
On the Wild Side: Experiments in New Naturalism
SB439.W5445 2004
This is another book from Timber Press by another Englishman who has abandoned the manicured garden for a more natural landscape.
 

Browse the Catalog

For additional titles, browse the library catalog under the subjects:

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Web Sites

  • Ken Druse
    Ken Druse is a gardener photographer who has published many books on naturalistic landscaping. He also has a blog and podcast on his website.

Pittsburgh Region