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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
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
on June 15, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified 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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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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. Read the text and you'll find the pictures in Garden Stone show drinking water pumped by expensive electricity. Chapter Six discusses these issues about water gardening in more detail, raising the topics of liners, pumps and filters. Throw in lighting while you're at it, because these aren't brooks, they're customized swimming pools. Call your environmental engineer.

Doubtless this was a fun book to write. Those who really want to use these ideas aspire to be landscape architects for large upscale subdivisions, restaurants, and retail malls. Lots of us will be intrigued with trying ideas here in some conservative scale on suburban houses. If you're not ready to bankroll environmental permits and heavy construction contracting, stay out of the water. Even on a scale of park development, grandly conceived ideas in stone become prohibitively expensive. Note for example, that visitors to Acadia National Park might think even the Rockefellers' implementation of Garden Stone ideas seems rather stingy.
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on March 19, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've referred to this book often when planning hardscaping and landscaping projects. It's not a how-to book, but there are lots of photos and conditions represented that are helpful -- and inspiring -- when figuring out how to deal with problem areas in your garden.
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on June 27, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The photos alone are worth buying this book! That said, the info on how to use stones in landscaping and gardening is very good. Maybe one of these days I'll even have enough money to actually DO some of this stuff.

I recommend this book.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Beautiful photographs. Gorgeous landscapes. Makes you want to go out and hoist some stones!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Many options and suggestions for stone work. I thought the book illustirations were beautiful and the material well presented. Helpful book for the garden library.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was nice to look out but didn't really give me what I was looking for. I wanted some ideas on using stone with running water.
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