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The Professional Designer's Guide to Garden Furnishings

By Vanessa Gardner Nagel

Colorful and quite thorough. ... Her good sense advice can save you any number of calls from irritated clients.

Landscape Architecture

Gardens don't need just plants, paths, and walls; they need chairs, benches, cushions, arbors, containers, and artwork, too. But finding and choosing these accessories can be a challenge. The Professional Designer's Guide to Garden Furnishings helps you meet the challenge by providing both visual inspiration and practical information about how to choose and where to find just about every kind of accessory a garden might need.

This comprehensive guide includes information on how furnishings are linked to architecture; offers tips and techniques for choosing furnishings based on comfort, scale, and proportion; and provides a survey of sixteen popular styles, including Craftsman, Midcentury Modern, and Contemporary. Vanessa Gardner Nagel, herself a professional garden designer as well as a nationally certified interior designer, also discusses the properties of a wide variety of material choices, including wood, stone, ceramics, concrete, metal, and fabrics. An extensive list of sources rounds out this truly indispensable guide.

Media reviews

"An aid and inspiration for design professionals and students of the field. Considerations for outdoor furnishing purchases are clearly broken down. The list of resources Nagel provides is valuable, no matter the skill level of the reader."

Library Journal

"Chapters geared toward the professional elevate this comprehensive guidebook to a higher level even as Nagel's approach makes it an accessible reference for the novice garden decorator."


"Vanessa Gardner Nagel has written this colorful and quite thorough guide to the materials and the supply chain in specifying outdoor furniture, fabrics, containers, and other fixtures. Her good sense advice can save you any number of calls from irritated clients."

Landscape Architecture

"An invaluable book for any designer and for any homeowner who's interested in buying quality outdoor materials that will stand the test of time."

—Jane Berger, Garden Design Online

About the author

Vanessa Gardner Nagel

Vanessa Gardner Nagel designs gardens in the Pacific Northwest and writes and speaks nationwide about garden design. She worked as a commercial interior designer for 25 years with architectural firms in the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland, Oregon, before taking postgraduate coursework in landscape design. She started her own design firm in 2002. She is the author of Understanding Garden Design and currently serves on the national board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

Read more about Vanessa Gardner Nagel

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