A survey of thirty well-conceived and beautiful contemporary landscapes and gardens in which design is driven first and foremost by ecologically appropriate plant selection.
In contemporary American garden design, beauty for beauty’s sake is making a comeback. The sixty gardens featured here trace current planting trends across the country, showcasing the best designs of recent years from the verdant Pacific Northwest to the tailored Eastern Seaboard, as well as prairies in Denver and Texas and exquisitely detailed private gardens in the Southwest that create a sense of lushness even while working exclusively within the vocabulary of cactuses and succulents.
Plants are used to reinforce meaningful content, ecological strategies, and, most importantly, to create immersive and emotional experiences. As the movements of architectural, naturalistic, meadow, matrix, graphic, and ecological planting design have been adopted in such notable incarnations as the High Line in New York and Citygarden in St. Louis, they have rekindled interest in using plants that suit a given site’s ecology—and in letting plants, rather than hardscape elements, lead design.
Residential as well as public gardens are featured, and all are united by an immediately perceptible, intelligent selection of plants that create an enthralling, memorable, and fitting sense of place: this is what makes a garden truly authentic.
Over 250 full-color images reveal gardens created by the top American firms working today, including Andrea Cochran, Jack deLashmet, Doyle Herman, Elysian Landscapes, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Hoerr Schaudt, Ron Lutsko, Steve Martino, Nelson Byrd Woltz, Nievera Williams, Oehme van Sweden, OLIN, Raymond Jungles, Christine Ten Eyck, Bernard Trainor, and Michael Vergason, as well as beautiful gems of gardens by lesser known regional firms. Detail as well as overview images of gardens throughout the seasons and abundant plant identifications make this volume a valuable reference for all home gardeners as well as landscape design professionals interested in tracing the themes prevalent in contemporary American gardens.