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Rock Garden Design and Construction

Edited by Jane McGary

By no means a mere coffee table book, but rather a treatise that covers every aspect of rock gardening.

American Gardener

Few gardens can transport visitors to wild and rugged landscapes as well as rock gardens. Eye-catching rock gardens are among the most challenging — and satisfying — expressions of the gardener's craft. A true rock garden is a specialized habitat that allows the gardener to grow plants that do not flourish anywhere else. This book offers the first comprehensive treatment of building rock gardens in all parts of North America. Topics covered include rock placement, materials, and planting and maintenance. Variations on the rock garden theme, from planting troughs to creating water features are also discussed. The book presents regional styles and techniques and profiles a dozen public rock gardens from Oregon to Newfoundland. More than 100 inspiring photos accompany the lively text.

Media reviews

"Lovely examples of berm, scree, and xeric gardens, both public and private, with a welcome emphasis on the aesthetics of integrating these various contrivances, from rock outcroppings to expanses of gravels, into the larger garden picture."


"Rock Garden Design and Construction is the first book on the subject to attempt to serve gardeners in all parts of North America, and we are in debt to the North American Rock Garden Society for this fine contribution to the literature ... the novice and advanced gardener are both well-served by this new reference."

Pacific Horticulture

"The book is indeed a treasure trove of ideas, full of accessible, down-to-earth information, useful for novices and experienced rock gardeners alike."

—Ethel Fried, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer

"Full of ideas for rock gardens of all kinds and sizes and for every climate."

—Marty Ross, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"This is a book I have read cover to cover and expect to read many more times."

—Carmel Tysver, Garden North

"This is a book I have read from cover to cover and expect to read many more times."

—Carmel Tysver, Gardens North



"Well-conceived guide on the development of rock gardens in different regions of the country and on widely diverse sites."

—Marilyn K. Alaimo, Chicago Botanic Garden

"Relies on the expertise of more than 40 members of the North American Rock Garden Society. The photographs are excellent and quite tempting, particularly in the variety of styles shown."

—Ann Milovsoroff, Royal Botanical Gardens Newsletter

"The information is all there ... excellent and quite tempting."

—Ann Milovsoroff, Royal Botanical Gardens Newsletter

"Though its pages are graced with more than 100 color images — many showcasing exquisitely conceived and executed rock gardens — this is by no means a mere coffee table book, but rather a treatise that covers every aspect of rock gardening, from sitting and construction to plant selection, culture, and ongoing maintenance."

—Barry Glick, American Gardener

"These hands-on gardeners write not just for specialists, but for beginners, too."

—Sally Ruth Bourrie, Oregonian

"The aspiring rock gardener will find chapters filled with advice from the bright lights of the rock-gardening world ... The writers' enthusiasm for the subject matter will inspire some to start a rock garden from scratch and inspire experienced gardeners to enhance an existing design."

—Alice Joyce, Booklist

"Reading like a Who's Who of those that have attained 'guru' status in the world of rock gardening, the contributers' list alone would be reason enough to garner a space on your bookshelf for Rock Garden Design and Contruction. ... Shattering the myth that you have to be an expert plantsman to have a rock garden, the basic thought that I was left with after reading the book was that anyone could have a rock garden anywhere."

—Barry Glick, American Horticulturist

"A comprehensive foundation for building rock gardens in all parts of North America."

Michigan Gardener

"Lovely, informative and useful."

—Rachel Shaevel, E-Streams

"The scale of projects varies from extensive areas to small troughs and "rock gardening on a balcony," while a section on design basics and materials incorporates a fund of warnings and wisdom."

Newcastle Journal

"This is a very personal book, despite the fact that it has 40 authors, all of whom ... are experts in their fields, and their love of plants shines through their worlds."

—Patricia A. Taylor, Trenton Times

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