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The Revolutionary Yardscape: Ideas for Repurposing Local Materials to Create Containers, Pathways, Lighting, and More

By Matthew Levesque

Full of innovative ways to both repurpose materials and add a fresh new look to your garden.


Budget-friendly, environmentally sound, and one-of-a-kind, discovering new uses for what you already have or what you discover in the salvage yard is truly living local. It reduces a garden's environmental impact, saves money, and — most importantly — is fun and creative. From making pathways out of scrap wood and metal to creating garden lights from discarded indoor fixtures, The Revolutionary Yardscape features dozens of garden design projects and inspirational ideas for taking advantage of salvaged materials found in the home, junkyard, or thrift store.

A master of using reclaimed items, expert Matthew Levesque covers the basics of hardscaping, garden construction, and outdoor decor using local materials. He includes essential techniques and step-by-step guidance for transforming unconventional salvaged materials into pathways, decking, fences, screens, containers, seating, and more. The Revolutionary Yardscape also shows readers how to see the beauty and possibility in salvaged materials. Levesque gives tips on how to think outside the garden box — from imagining a pile of old keys becoming a rain chain to seeing the infinite possibilities in scrap metal and piping.

This new set of skills embraces the idea of finding an object first and letting the design plan follow. Vividly illustrated with photographs of exciting contemporary projects, The Revolutionary Yardscape will make gardeners think outside the box by designing with unexpected materials.

Awards for this book: Garden Writers Association Gold Award, Garden Writers Association Silver Award

Media reviews

"A provocative book that will thrill anyone whose ideal venue for window-shopping is the transfer station (a.k.a. the dump)."

New York Times

"Full of creative and imaginative ideas for recycling local materials into containers, pathways, seating and other hardscape features for your yard and garden."


"Levesque is a master at crafting yard décor from cast-off materials that otherwise would stuff landfills or litter vacant lots."

Louisville Courier-Journal

"This author takes it to a whole other level."


"An apostle of recycling."

Chicago Tribune

"Levesque incorporates the unlikely into creative solutions for the garden and patio."

SciTech Book News

"Matthew Levesque takes the idea of reuse to strange and wonderful places in the garden."

—Pat Leuchtman, Greenfield Recorder

"Using recycled materials in the garden is hardly new, but few do it with Matthew Levesque's flair."

—Mary Beth Breckenridge, Akron Beacon Journal

"Full of innovative ways to both repurpose materials and add a fresh new look to your garden."


"This fantastic book full of innovative ideas will overturn readers' preconceived notions about salvaged materials and their potential."

Library Journal

"This guy can turn anything into garden décor. The best part? He'll show you how to do it, too."

—L. Davis, Oregonian

"You'll never look at junk the same way again. Talk about 'green' gardening!"


"Levesque takes the idea of reuse to strange and wonderful places in the garden."

Commonweeder blog

"Aims to demystify the process and provide inspiration. ... Filled with photos and how-to instructions."

—Nancy Davis Kho, San Francisco Chronicle

"Levesque helps you find ways to repurpose ... material intelligently and creatively."

—Elizabeth Licata, Buffalo Spree

"A valuable source for ideas on working art, paths, water features and other ornamentation into backyard landscapes."

—Kimberly L. Jackson, Newark Star-Ledger

About the author

Matthew Levesque

A pioneer in the art of using recycled materials in cutting-edge garden design, Matthew Levesque is the program director and master of recycled art at the nonprofit San Francisco company Building Resources and the Red Shovel Glass Company. He has appeared on HGTV, the Discovery Channel, the San Francisco CBS affiliate, and other local broadcasts.

Read more about Matthew Levesque

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