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Illustrated History of Landscape Design

ISBN: 978-0-470-28933-4
272 pages
February 2010
Illustrated History of Landscape Design (0470289333) cover image


A visual journey through the history of landscape design

For thousands of years, people have altered the meaning of space by reshaping nature. As an art form, these architectural landscape creations are stamped with societal imprints unique to their environment and place in time.

Illustrated History of Landscape Design takes an optical sweep of the iconic landscapes constructed throughout the ages. Organized by century and geographic region, this highly visual reference uses hundreds of masterful pen-and-ink drawings to show how historical context and cultural connections can illuminate today's design possibilities.

This guide includes:

  • Storyboards, case studies, and visual narratives to portray spaces

  • Plan, section, and elevation drawings of key spaces

  • Summaries of design concepts, principles, and vocabularies

  • Historic and contemporary works of art that illuminate a specific era

  • Descriptions of how the landscape has been shaped over time in response to human need

Directing both students and practitioners along a visually stimulating timeline, Illustrated History of Landscape Design is a valuable educational tool as well as an endless source ofinspiration.

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Table of Contents


Prehistory-6th Century.

Cosmological Landscapes.

Ancient Gardens.

Landscape and Architecture.

Genius Loci.

6th-15th Centures.

Western Europe: Walled Minds, Walled Gardens.

Moorish Spain: An Indelible Influence.

China: Nature’s Splendor in a Garden.

Japan: In the Spirit of Nature.

15th Century.

Japan: Muromachi Era.

China: Ming Dynasty.

Central Asia: Timurid Garden Cities.

Italy: Curious Minds, Broadened Vistas.

16th Century.

Italy: The Rebirth of Rome.

Renaissance Gardens in France and England.

The Early Botanic Garden: An Encyclopedia of Plants.

Early Mughal Gardens: Persian Art Forms Travel East.

Japan: The Momoyama Era.

17th Century.

Japan: Edo Period.

The Mughal Empire: Sacred Symmetries.

Persian Gardens of Paradise.

Italian Baroque Styles.

The flowering of the Dutch Landscape.

English Gardens: A Restrained Mix of European Styles.

French Classical Gardens: The Control of Nature.

18th Century.

England: The Development of the Landscape Garden.

The Landscape Garden in France.

China: Qianlong’s Imprint.

Early American Gardens: Homeland Traditions.

19th Century.

England: The Victorians and Their Plants.

France: Republics and Empires.

Landscape Architecture in America.

20th Century.

The Glided Age: Extremes of Wealth and Poverty.

The New Aesthetic of Modernism.

Environmental Art: Nature as Medium.

Artistic Trends in Landscape Design.

Environmental and Ecological Design.

Postmodern Landscapes.

21st Century.

A Sustainable Earth: Ten Ideas.




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Author Information

Elizabeth Boults is a landscape architect and educator. She maintains an art-based practice in Berkeley, California, and teaches in the landscape architecture programs at University of California, Berkeley Extension, and University of California, Davis. Her subject areas include drawing, design, and history.

Chip Sullivan is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Author of several books, he is the recipient of the Rome Prize, among many other national and international awards. He currently writes an ongoing series of illustrated articles for Landscape Architecture magazine.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Highly visual guide to landscape design history features hundreds of masterful, hand drawn images
  • Concise approach is design oriented and illustrates how the landscape has been shaped over time in response to human need
  • Helps readers apply historical context to contemporary design challenges
  • Focuses on the iconic parks and gardens of history with an analysis of the elements and principles of each design
  • Includes plan, section and elevation drawings of key spaces
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"The authors have a created a visual treat sure to inspire and captivate any student of landscape design. Beautiful, abundant, precise drawings in concert with a more limited yet engaging text make this book unique. In a visual disclipine such as landscape design, such a novel approach is long overdue. This impressive work could serve as an outstanding textbook for landscape design students or as a useful reference for libraries. This significant, delightful, one-of-a kind work is sure to become a classic." (Choice, July 2010)

"…an accessible and reliable source for students and the interest general reader." (BBC Gardens Illustrated, May 2010)

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Press Release

October 05, 2010
Illustrated History of Landscape Design

Authors Elizabeth Boults and Chip Sullivan describe Illustrated History of Landscape Design from the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

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