What is your favorite Landscape History book?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION What is your favorite Landscape History book?

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    Trace One

    I am determined to increase my knowledge of landscape history, and would be interested in other people’s favorite books on the topic…Anything, just any aspect, any book you really love, would interest me – I am thinking of buying a  $70.00 book written by two architects (Inventing the Garden) sold through the Getty, and don’t know if it is worth the money..

    Roland Beinert

    I still reread parts of the textbook I had to get for my landscape history class. It’s called Design on the Land by Norman Newton. It starts with ancient Egypt and goes all the way up to modern landscape architecture.

    The only other history-type landscape architecturish books I have read are about the history and form of cities: The City Assembled and The City Shaped both by Spiro Kostof. They are both really great books, and if I had to pick a favorite of the three books I’ve mentioned, it would be The City Shaped. But based on what you said it sounds like Design on the Land would be the one you want.

    Jason T. Radice

    Just got this one during my last trip up to from favorite bookshop, but you can order online from them. It nice and concise, as well as really cheap.  







    Wow ! I just read the review of that book from the link you provided. Seems like an incredible bargain for what it appears to contain. Thank you very much for that recommendation. Since this is about books, I can tell  you about my experience with landscape architecture and urban planning books in China. The books, typically cover a really wide range of topics from  recently built projects from China and greater Asia (of course) to multi-volume (2 to 3) books concentrating on actual plans for certain projects and significant construction details that go with each. All very impressive, lushly illustrated, and all in color. These guys will show up with a wheelbarrow full of those books and just roll into your office, uninvited and unannounced, expecting you will browse and buy. I have yet to do that for two reasons. 1) Most (not all) the books are in Chinese (surprise!)  and 2) They are really expensive averaging $50.00 and up from there. I already have large library back in our country and do not need to weight myself down while I am here, but I will order the one you recommended here.

    Thanks again,.

    Trace One

    Thanks, guys! Good rec’s..I will definitely be checking these books out.


    Garden History by Tom Turner , its about the design and philosophy from 2000 BC – 2000 AD

    What I like about this book how its been arranged ; by highlighting on the same questions why , when, what and where of making gardens through history . Each chapter is devided into two parts , first  explain the art and social effects of certain culture on creating its garden ,and second it shows examples of its styles the use and forms .

    Trace One

    thanks, Amany! that book is On The List!

    Alan Ray, RLA

    My fave is “The Garden an illustrated History” by Julia S. Berrall. Viking Press, NY.

    it takes you from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to Thomas Church…..very nice pictures and narrative.

    it’s an oldie but a goodie…..

    Maryanne Micillo

    Two Great Books:

    Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History

    author: Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

    The Landscape of Man: Shaping the Environment From PreHistory to the Present Day

    author: Geoffrey Jellicoe and Susan Jellicoe


    Plants in Garden History – written by Penelope Hobhouse

    Steve Martino

    a few books on my shelf:

    Title: The Poetics of Gardens
    Author(s): Charles W. Moore, William J Mitchell, William Turnbull, Jr.
    Publisher: The MIT Press

    The Architecture of Western Gardens

    Editors: Mosser and Teyssot

    Publisher: MIT Press

    The History of Gardens

    Author: Christopher Thacker

    Publisher: University of California Press


    Sue Ann Alleger

    Landscape Design-A Cultural and Architectural History by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers


    This is also an expensive purchase ($75.00) although is well worth the price.  The writing is wel done and interesting, the photos and plans are exceptional, and the content is well documented.

    Trace One

    That’s two votes for good old E. Barlow, of Central Park fame..On the list! Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it, and am pretty much buying everything everyone listed, so far.. My retirement will be financed by selling my book collection.

    Michael A. Hill

    Landscape of Man still rocks.  Clearly ties in Landscape to the larger history of the built environment.

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