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Professional Planting Design: An Architectural and Horticultural Approach for Creating Mixed Bed Plantings

ISBN: 978-0-471-76139-6
304 pages
March 2007
Professional Planting Design: An Architectural and Horticultural Approach for Creating Mixed Bed Plantings (0471761397) cover image
"This is a great reference book for planting design, which is an arena where so many of us are hugely challenged. Information in it is well written, engaging, useful, accessible, and original."
-- Holly H. Shimizu, Executive Director, United States Botanic Garden

"A unique blend of classic planting-design principles and ecological plant-selection criteria."
-- Scot Medbury, President, Brooklyn Botanic Garden

"After reading the book, you will be able to experiment with nature and use its myriad of facets to make your own original statement. You will be ready to take risks and design exciting and original gardens."
-- From the Foreword by James A. van Sweden, Oehme, van Sweden & Associates

A comprehensive guide to the "high art" of designing mixed bed plantings

When done successfully, mixed beds represent the pinnacle of planting design -- a living work of art in which small trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, bulbs, tropicals, and groundcovers combine to create a true feeling of place. Professional Planting Design initiates you into the principles of planting design and helps you develop the ability to think about the planting design process, so that you can develop your own effective compositions that sustain multi-seasonal interest.

Richly illustrated with photographs and drawings, Professional Planting Design covers the basics as well as the advanced concepts of planting design including: selecting plant characteristics, types of mixed bed plantings, structuring and composing mixed beds, creating mixed palettes for seasonal variation, designing in elevation and plan view, and choosing plants. You'll find coverage of design, landscape architecture, and horticulture interwoven throughout the guide, along with detailed steps for developing mixed bed planting compositions at a variety of scales for projects on both residential and commercial sites.

Clear and concise yet thorough, this book will supplement your talent with the knowledge you need to create harmonious mixed plantings in the landscape that will provide continual interest throughout the seasons.

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Foreword by James A. van Sweden.

Foreword by Fergus Garrett.


Planting Design: A Unique Design Profession.

Chapter 1. Mixed Planting Basics.

Chapter 2. The Power of Succession.

Chapter 3. Applying Design Fundamentals to Planting Design.

Chapter 4. Structuring and Adorning the Mixed Planting Composition.

Chapter 5. Form-Based Approach to Mixed Planting Design.

Chapter 6. Designing in Plan View: Creating the Beds.

Chapter 7. Composing and Structuring a Mixed Bed.

Chapter 8. Specifying Plants by Their Characteristics.

Chapter 9. Understanding the Planting Environment.

Chapter 10. Completing the Process: Selecting the Plants.



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Scott C. Scarfone, ASLA, is a principal at Oasis Design Group, a landscape architecture, planning, and design firm he founded in historic Fells Point in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an instructor in the continuing education programs at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, The School of the Chicago Botanic Garden in Chicago, and Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. He frequently lectures around the country on various topics including garden design, planting design, and garden travel. Scott is a registered landscape architect and a certified professional horticulturist with a specialization in herbaceous perennials.
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"The great mysteries of successful planting design are unraveled by landscape architect Scott Scarfone in Professional Planting Design. Scarfone sets out the guidelines to allow anyone from an avid amateur gardener to a professional landscape designer or architect to create a living work of art with plants." (The American Gardner, May/June 2008)

"Using mainly black and white drawings and photographs to illustrate principles, he prods the reader to think first of architectural concepts, forms and textures before considering color compositions. High marks go to the author for his presentation on the application of theory." (Chicago Botanic Garden Current Books and Book Reviews Web page; summer 2007)

"It is a ‘go-to’ reference for a variety of design topics from useful definitions of design fundamentals to more complex considerations of massing plants, structuring space, and deconstructing design compositions to understand how they function." (Landscape Architecture: The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects, February 2008, Vol. 98, No. 2)

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Instructors Resources
Wiley Instructor Companion Site
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Professional Planting Design: An Architectural and Horticultural Approach for Creating Mixed Bed Plantings (US $75.00)

-and- The Site Calculations Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition (US $70.00)

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