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Landscaping For Dummies Paperback – January 27, 1999

3.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This guide is intended as a basic reference for those who want to improve their landscape. Beginning with a Wish List, the authors help gardeners achieve the yard of their dreams. Each step of the process is explained: designing a layout, building "hardscape" (paths, fences, arbors), selecting plants and trees, choosing a contractor or deciding to do the work yourself. Icons are used to point out important information. Many illustrations, checklists, a hardiness zone table, plant lists, lists of mail-order suppliers, 16 professional landscape designs, recommended readings, and online resources provide inspiration. The tone of the book is upbeat and humorous. Recommended for public libraries. (Color photographs not seen.)ANancy Lee Myers, Univ. of South Dakota Lib., Vermillion
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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"I was amazed at its comprehensiveness and thoroughness--you can tell that the authors really have done this stuff before." -- About.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (January 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764551280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764551284
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You are just as likely to need the assistance of the above referenced title as you are to gain information from this book. It could be re-titled: "Gardening for Dummies" and possibly pass muster as a helpful guide. For landscaping - save your money and invest it in plantings. Most of the text is dedicated to construction projects (decks etc.) what plants are good for what purpose (height, width), and the value of good landscaping. Unfortunately the text discussing HOW to landscape effectively is breezed through with only the briefest nod to the MOST elemental concepts. A (with liberties taken) paraphrase," You will need dirt. Dirt is available at garden centers. Plants will not grow without it, so make sure you have some before you attempt to establish your plants." For any but the most significantly stupid, this book is useless for the purpose it alleges to serve. I would have given it a "0" star rating, but that isn't an option.
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Format: Paperback
I found the book to be useful in terms of providing some overall ideas for what can be done to a landscape, but useless in terms of actually getting down to the business of landscaping.
For instance, the section about grass types lists 8 different grasses for my region, which is nice, but it doesn't give you any real way to compare and contrast those 8 types to choose which one you want. For some grasses it tells you if they are seed or sod, but it doesn't give that info for all the grasses. Same thing for shade or sun, disease resistance, etc... In the end I had to go to other sources to figure out which type of grass I wanted in my yard.
Same thing happened when picking shrubs. Pictures of different shrub types would have been helpful, but instead there were just basic descriptions that were hard to compare and contrast among the shrub types.
This book is very general and not that useful for people who are actually ready to start landscaping and need help making the decisions about what will go into their yard. I was pretty disapointed because I've had great luck with other For Dummies books.
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Bought this book to landscape my yard,but because im not ready i lent ot to my neighbour. He told me that this book has been a tremendous help to him and his yard looks great. it truely works for people who have zero knowledge on landscaping. i will recommend this book for all novices.
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Format: Paperback
I've been working in commercial landscaping off and on for nearly four years now. I borrowed this book from a friend just to check it out. I think if you are a new homeowner and don't have much experience in landscaping then this book will probably work. If you are familiar with planting tree's and shrubs, bricklaying, fencing, and bordering, then maybe you should try and find something a little more advance. I suppose it depends on how big the project is you are working on.
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Format: Paperback
`Landscaping for Dummies' by Philip Giroux, Bob Beckstrom, Lance Walheim and a cast of thousands is a typically ironic example of what you will find in this huge `Dummies' series of books, which started out as a series of texts for PC subjects, where the PC had a knack of making us all feel like dummies. Since then, it has expanded to touch virtually every `practical' subject in the known universe. That is, I haven't seen any `Wittgenstein for Dummies' or `Quantum Thermodynamics for Dummies', as neither of these subjects are things the average intelligent, but uninformed person is likely to pick up to brief themselves for a weekend project of as a start to a new hobby.

The irony of this particular volume is that you really can't make full use of it if you don't have a good head on your shoulders and a fair amount of book learning under your belt, including such arcane High School subjects such as geometry and some building skills such as working with mortar, power saws, a level, and a full-sized shovel.

The first thing you discover is that landscaping is a really big subject. You probably didn't know this, or you would not be considering buying this book. In four `parts', the book breaks the subject down into Designing, Hardscaping, Planting, Planning, and Tips for putting Landscaping to good use. Since this book (and all books in this series) advertises itself as `A Reference for the Rest of Us', I can't complain too much about the odd order of these five subjects, but it does seem that `Objectives' and `Planning' should be Parts I and II respectively, rather than Parts V and IV. I confess that I even bought the book exclusively for its Hardscaping chapter, so I didn't care if that came before or after planning.
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This book had a lot of things we were looking for, but not all of them. Would like to see a book that has more design ideas.
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This book was a simple version of landscaping. A little to simple. Not recommeded for a serious business minded person.
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Did not tell me what I needed to know to pick plants for my yard. I found most of what I needed in Sunset's Western Garden Book (I'm in the western US).
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