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Sustainable Landscaping For Dummies Paperback – February 9, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Create a beautiful, sustainable landscape that's easy on your pocketbook

Want to go green outside your home? This practical, hands-on guide shows you how to design, create, and live with sustainable lawn and garden spaces. You'll see how to eliminate the use of chemicals, reduce energy use, and conserve natural resources, all while you craft an attractive and functional outdoor environment that increases the value and improves the appearance of your home.

  • Get sustainable savvy — understand what it means, why it matters, and what materials and resources to use

  • Work with water — evaluate and maintain irrigation systems, explore water harvesting, and manage watering for maximum conservation

  • Make the most of hardscaping — from patios and walls to fences, steps, and lighting systems, construct and maintain sustainable elements

  • Add the true green stuff — select, establish, and care for gorgeous climate-appropriate plants that need few resources

Open the book and find:

  • The essentials of sustainable garden care

  • Ways to minimize your lawn's impact and keep it healthy

  • A step-by-step tutorial on designing a great landscape plan

  • How to grade, plant, and irrigate the sustainable way

  • Tips for fitting food into your landscape

  • Cheap (or free) planet-friendly projects

  • Nonsustainable gardening mistakes to avoid

  • When and why to call in the pros

About the Author

Owen E. Dell is the owner of County Landscape and Design in Santa Barbara, California. He has nearly 40 years of experience designing and building beautiful, sustainable, and soul-satisfying residential and commercial landscapes.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (February 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047041149X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470411490
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Owen E. Dell, RLA, ASLA is an internationally admired landscape architect, landscape contractor, educator, author, television personality, and "sustainability guru." Owen has nearly 40 years of experience as both a hands-on garden maker, a designer of residential as well as commercial and public gardens, and an inspiration to landscapers and gardeners the world over. Owen is the principal at Owen Dell & Associates, LLC in Corvallis, Oregon.

Professional and lay audiences look to Owen for his inimitable combination of eye-opening, cutting-edge landscaping advice and edge-of-your-seat lively delivery. Owen's workshops are a delight, and send participants home inspired and forever changed.

Home gardeners and professionals alike love his popular books "Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies" and "How to Start a Home-Based Landscaping Business." Owen is also the co-author of "Green Your Home All-In-One For Dummies." Readers can count on Owen to deliver a solid message in a fun-to-read format.

Owen is also an inveterate volunteer, helping out with many environmental and political causes. He's also the founder of the Fossil Free Landscaping Group, the Neighborhood Foodshed Project, and other groups.

When he's not writing books, teaching students, helping to save the world, and designing stunning gardens, he's out working in his own garden, which boasts a wide variety of edible and medicinal plants, a certified wildlife habitat, countless kinds of native and exotic ornamental plants, and an intriguing series of outdoor rooms. He also cooks like a madman, spends lots of time with his cats, and spends quality time out in nature.

To find out more about Owen E. Dell, visit his web site at www.owendell.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I recently bought this book in preparation for a number of landscaping projects around the house this spring and summer. I've found the guide to be extremely thorough and helpful. It has shown me how to take small steps that add up to making my yard more sustainable and healthy for the family. Included are a number of ready-to-be-implmented, professional quality landscape plans.
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Owen Dell is the individual most responsible for the way that I look at landscape, design and my footprint in general. Owen is an amazing speaker, part time tv geek and landscape guru. You can now add entertaing author to the resume. This is a book that will make you look at the art of landscaping in a way that keeps us in tune with dear ol' mom. (Mother Earth that is) In simple easy to understand language, you can be a pro (Or just design like one) in no time. You will learn how to work with nature and our limited resources while having a positive impact on the environment. As with most 'Dummies' books, you can skip around to find areas of interest but I found it hard to put the book down once I started. Written with a true talent to entertain and keep the reader interested, I applaud Mr Dell and his commitment to the future of our natural resources.
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Format: Paperback
Length: 3:07 Mins
I was surprised, as a landscape professional, how much I got from this book. While the sustainable tips Dell presents are thorough and helpful, the best part of this book was the depth of hands-on landscaping experience he shared. Since Dell's been a landscape architect and licensed landscape contractor for many years, the sustainable techniques he presents are practical, efficient, and actually work. No fiddly little tips that are a pain in the behind to actually do (a pet peeve of mine)!

I feel strongly that if you're embarking on a landscaping project, the sheer depth of professional knowledge and experience Dell shares in this book will almost certainly keep you from making a costly mistake during your landscaping project. And if he even saves you from making one mistake, it's easily paid for the cost of the book.

Professionals: don't discount the book because it's a Dummies title. I've read 20+ books on landscaping every year since I've become a landscaper (15 years now!) and this is among the best for having useful, practical, hands-on information that you can take into the field and use to do a better job.
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Format: Paperback
I completely understand why the subject of sustainable landscaping isn't splashed over the media. Unlike Madonna's marital status or how much Paris Hilton's new dog cost, it's not something the general populace craves. No one is braving water cannons to protest people who wash down driveways. And who's losing sleep over the out-of-control non-native plants that gradually displacing native vegetation in the wild?

Well, if there's one person who ignites people's passions about sustainable landscaping, it's Owen Dell. [Required Disclosure - Owen and I are buddies and co-hosts of a sustainable landscaping TV show. We've also spent countless Wednesday nights in our "Billy and Owen Take Over The World" sessions, plotting how to proselytize the masses and convince them to come into the light of sustainable landscaping. So, I might be a bit prejudiced in this review. But he's a mensch and really does deserve the mounds of praise I'm about to bury him in.]

I think Owen's book is very important. It needs to be read, embraced and acted upon by many, many people. Is there any better way to reach the knowledge-hungry masses than with one of those books with the black and yellow cover, and the iconic image of a strange guy with a buzz cut and triangular head? I'm talking about "Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies."

What I've always liked about Dummies books is that they're written by and for really smart people (or those who are about to be much smarter for having read the book). Their authors anticipate what a reader needs to know and gives it to them in a delightful package with all the fat trimmed off. That's just what Owen did in this book.
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Format: Paperback
I am so pleased that Owen Dell wrote "Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies". It is the kind of landscaping book I have been in search of for 30 years! "Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies" gets right to the point about what a landscape should be (and not be). Owen Dell communicates these critically important principles without being overly philosophical, preachy or judgmental. It all just makes sense. And, he doesn't sugarcoat anything. He tells it like it is, based on decades of real-life experiences. He obviously knows what he's talking about.

The book is full of practical tips and information and is incredibly timely. It's like a how-to book for landscaping with Permaculture concepts and principles woven in such that it makes it all just seem matter-of-fact common sense; anybody can do it - and should. The out-of-the-norm landscaping practices are not presented as something exotic or trendy. They're presented as things we all can and should do in our suburban (or urban or rural) landscapes. To make his points clear, Owen Dell explains both what to do and what not to do and why. And, he includes nice little illustrations to reinforce his points.

As someone who has taught sustainable landscaping for the past two decades, I find this book to be the perfect companion to my classes. Owen says the things I try to teach so much better than I, and he does it all in an entertaining and fun way. Although written from the perspective of water-thirsty Southern California, the principles and concepts apply everywhere. I only wish it had been written sooner. Thank you for writing this book.
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