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Garden Stone: Creative Landscaping with Plants and Stone Paperback – January 1, 2004

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“one of the best idea books on using stones in the landscape that I have scene.” — The Washington Post


“Good ideas are quarried in Garden Stone.  . . . Excellent photographs make it clear why stone is such a treasure.” — Columbus Dispatch


“This well-illustrated book covers paths and walkways, walls, water gardens, wisdom, and whimsy.” — The Gardener’s Companion of The Old Farmer’s Almanac


“ … a must-read for anyone wanting to add stone to the garden, whether it’s a do-it-yourself project or work-for-hire job.” — Detroit News & Free Press


“the basics of stone masonry are well diagrammed.” — Seattle Post-Intelligencer


“well written and beautifully illustrated throughout.” — Library Journal


“provides all the practical information, instructional drawings and illustrations needed.” — Country Decorating Ideas



“This guide can inspire gardeners to employ the interactions of stone, plants, soil, water and light in creating a place of enduring beauty.” —Indianapolis Star


“Pleasant's excellent book covers everything that's necessary to add stone to your garden...” —Buffalo News


About the Author

Barbara Pleasant has written five books for Storey, including the Garden Writer's Association 2003 Garden Globe Award of Achievement winner, Garden Stone. She lives in Virginia.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 3rd Printing edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580175449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580175449
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I have the greatest job in the world, which is helping gardeners find neat ways to make the world a more beautiful and productive place. Writing feature article for Mother Earth News and other magazines helps to break up long stretches spent on books, and it's also great fun to talk with fellow gardeners, who are a constant source of new and better ideas.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Katelyn Thomas on January 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I realize that there are already several books about using stones in the garden and they all contain similar information, but this book is still worth a read if you plan to use stone in your garden. It is full of photographs that show ways to use rock in the garden. In fact, several of these photos are the inspiration for two new projects I started in my own garden.

The first section of this book discusses the history of stone in gardens and talks about the types of stone. I enjoyed reading the history, but quickly moved on to the meat of the book. The next chapter discussed pathways and included patterns, stone recommendations and how to's. I found this section particularly helpful, since I was in the process of laying a path when I started to read the book. Many of the tips are common sense after you complete projects, but who wants to find out how to do things the hard way? The following sections of the book deal with making steps, drainage problems, retaining walls, walls in general, stone in water gardens and rock gardens. All of the sections are well written and have many tips and instructions to help you complete your projects.

Something I really enjoyed about this book is the fact that each section had a list of plants that grow well in that environment. For example, there is a special section on plants for crevices and one on plants for steps. I also enjoyed reading some of the general information. There are sidebars such as "12 Ways to Move Stone" and "Cutting Stone" included in the book. If you've ever tried to move a large rock, you know how important it is to know how to move stones.

Even though there are several other good books on stonescaping, this book is well written, well organized, and will find a permanent home on my reference shelf.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By katyb on June 15, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved looking at the pictures in this book and there was some information about types of rock which was interesting and well-wriiten. However, a lot of the book's ideas centered around rocks in combination with water features; very pretty but useless for those without water in their gardens. That also seemed a tad presumtuous considering the title. Maybe it should be called "Landscaping with plants ,stone and water features".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ThirstyBrooks on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Garden Stone offers pretty pictures with sometimes vapid text. The last couple of chapters are better than the beginning. A more discerning look at the pictures indicates a strong preference for sedimentary rock in roughly rectangular shapes. Sure it's eye candy, but this style lacks imagination and can clash with the natural landscape.

That said, Fallingwater is still America's favorite house, and it's built with rectangular chunks of sedimentary rock in a landscape of rounded glacial stones. Barbara Pleasant's writing style may be ditzy in places, but there's no denying the mandate of curb appeal. She expresses herself with the clear, steely eye of a real estate advertising copy writer undistracted by the technical aspects of rock mechanics or heavy construction. "Working with boulders is difficult and dangerous, so most of us have this done by landscaping."

In a book about rock gardens, we should expect more serious treatment of the properties of rock than "Marvelous Marble ...Serene Slate ...Grand Granite ...Beautiful Basalt." These materials are a challenge to work with, and a more insightful discussion of their properties belongs in a good book on rock gardening. Considering the permanence of heavy stonework, photoessays on weathering properties would add a lot to the book.

The discussion of flowing water invites an expensive problem: Rectangular channelization of stream beds violates environmental rules in many states. Many people think this kind of work looks like fun and are distressed to discover it's regulated. George W. Bush "The Environmental President" even signed legislation to curb the development of turf lawns next to water resources.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Garden Stone: Creative Ideas, Practical Projects, And Inspiration For Purely Decorative Uses by expert gardening and award-winning gardening writer Barbara Pleasant showcases garden stonework from gardens in all parts of North America illustrating what can be done in diverse geographical locations and climates. Instructional line drawings provide the reader with a wealth of practical, applicable information to devise, develop, and construct their own garden oriented stone projects. Enhanced with more than 50 photo portraits and descriptions highlighting plants that are especially effective when used in the company of stone, Garden Stone offers instructive advice on using stone when creating steps, walls, boundary definitions, and mood settings for gardens. More than 40 projects are presented to illustrate the manifold uses of stone to beautify the garden and give opportunity for gardeners to reveal their own unique and enduring artistic expressions. Garden Stone is a welcome and specialized addition to any personal, professional, or community library Gardening/Landscaping reference book collection.
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