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The Spirit of Stone: 101 Practical & Creative Stonescaping Ideas for Your Garden Hardcover – February 15, 2017
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"The Spirit of Stone is overflowing with both inspiration and instruction on how to use stone creatively in the landscape. Jan Johnsen, a renowned landscape designer,focuses in on the soulfulness, authenticity, beauty, and practicality of stonework in an outdoor setting. Filled with practical tips and outstanding photos, The Spirit of Stone is a delightful celebration of the versatility of this solid, durable rock." - Fran Sorin, author, Digging Deeper
In the same loving and passionate spirit she brought garden and design lovers Heaven is a Garden, Jan Johnsen now brings us The Spirit of Stone. This book provides insights and photos of every possible way to use stone in your garden: as accents, as art, as walls,as drainage, as steps, with plants, or for paths. When she was a college student in Kyoto,Japan, Johnsen developed a true appreciation for stone accents and how they can unify a design without distracting from the overall space. In The Spirit of Stone, she shares her appreciation and design insights with readers. - Jim Peterson, Publisher, Garden Design magazine
Celebrated garden author and landscape designer, Jan Johnsen has sifted her sophisticated natural stone expertise into a clearly written and companionable guide to stone gardening success. Readers will be rewarded with time tested methods to design and build with stone and a personal tour of rock gardens throughout the world from this world-renowned landscape design expert. I predict Spirit of Stone will be treasured by beginners and garden experts alike - Miriam Goldberger, author, Taming Wildflowers
From rock-solid tips on the practical aspects of creating stone walkways and the like, to fascinating insights into why we are so drawn to such structures, Jan Johnsen leaves no stone unturned in introducing readers to the wonderful world of masonry. Her marriage of hardscape and horticulture assures The Spirit of Stone rock-star status on your gardening bookshelf. - David Beaulieu, Landscaping Expert for About.com
"As a horticulturist, I must have seen a thousand gardens and not one stone.Fortunately, after reading The Spirit of Stone, I now have "rock awareness" as Jan calls it and I can now see - I even went back to photos I took -- that the stones were there all along." Peggy Riccio, Gardening Products Review
“Celebrated garden author and landscape designer Jan Johnsen has distilled her sophisticated natural stone expertise into a clearly written, companionable guide to stone gardening success. I predict The Spirit of Stone will be treasured by beginners and garden experts alike.“ ~ Miriam Goldberger, author of Taming Wildflowers
"Jan Johnsen leaves no stone unturned in introducing readers to the wonderful world of masonry. Her marriage of hardscape and horticulture assures The Spirit of Stone rock-star status on your gardening bookshelf." ~ David Beaulieu, Landscaping expert for About.com
“In the same loving and passionate spirit with which she brought garden and design lovers Heaven is a Garden, Jan Johnsen now brings us The Spirit of Stone. This book provides insights and photos of every possible way to use stone in your garden: as accents, as art, as walls, as drainage, as steps, with plants or for paths.”
~ Jim Peterson, Publisher, Garden Design magazine (Jim Peterson)
“Jan Johnsen successfully conveys the poetic qualities of stone through insightful observations, descriptive examples and, more importantly, with practical advice for novice and professional garden designers.”
~ Richard Alomar, RLA, ASLA, Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University
“ Johnsen's intimate relationship with stone, honed over a long design career, shines through every page of this practical guide to using stone in residential gardens. Perhaps more importantly, she explains why this most elemental of materials creates a timeless sensuality that no other garden material can.”
~ Carolyn Mullet, designer; on Facebook: “Garden Design by Carolyn Mullet”
“The Spirit of Stone is an insightful look into the many ways of using natural stone in a garden. Jan's crisp descriptions and wonderful photographs open our eyes to the unique addition of this material – in all its forms – into landscapes.”
~ Bill Thomas, Executive Director, Chanticleer Garden, author of The Art of Gardening
“The Spirit of Stone is an elegant paean to the use of stone in the garden. Jan Johnsen explores the rich traditions in using stone by artists and craftsmen through the age, and provides helpful suggestions for today’s garden enthusiasts.” ~ Robert E. Grese, Director, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum; Professor, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
“Jan's great love for the art of gardening and enthusiasm for
great stone work is apparent on every page. The Spirit of Stone is a great
resource for inspiration in the garden.” ~ Devin Devine, stone artist, mason: Devine Escapes
"The Spirit of Stone focuses in on the soulfulness, authenticity, beauty and practicality of stonework in an outdoor setting. …a delightful celebration of the versatility of this solid, durable natural element." ~ Fran Sorin, author of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening
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Johnsen’s greatest talents as a designer are her ability to immediately recognize the innate purpose of a given space and her incomparable vocabulary of various design elements, both living and innate. And every one of her designs that I have visited features exceptional stonework. But what makes her an incredibly successful practicing designer is her ability to explain form and function in ways that the uninitiated can easily grasp. All of these are products of decades of experience and a deep seated passion for garden design as an art form. They are also what make her classes and lectures so popular with those looking at a career in landscape design. And with those who just want to make sense of their own back yard. I would recommend “The Spirit of Stone” to either group.
I related to Johnsen speaking of “having a soft spot for hard rock.” So do I. Her latest book is packed with information -practical, informative, and sometimes just interesting. From detailing the pros and cons of various types of stone and gravel materials, to new suggestions on how to use them, to fascinating asides on specific individual or famous stones and the work of world-class artists and designers, her passion for the subject matter is contagious. Hundreds of beautiful photos (a fair percentage from her own work), charts and diagrams shed further light on each topic.
I have no doubt that after reading this I will be using more stone in my own design practice. After reading this book, you will too. It’s that good. It’s that comprehensive. It’s that fun to read. And, if you love working with stone in the garden –or if you’d like to –it’s the ideal handbook on the subject.
This book is comprehensive. It covers it all. It starts off with some lesser known stone features, like cairns, stone balancing and standing stones--okay, so you're an art fan and you recognize the name of Goldsworthy and you've heard of those before. Cool. How about Japanese viewing stones? Chinese Scholars stones? You heard of them? Dolmens--can you tell me what a dolmen is? More common and pragmatic stone features like dry stone walls, stone pathways and stone steps are all given due consideration here, as are rock gardens, dry gardens, zen gardens, pebble mosaics and much more.
Aside from all of the great photos (and the book really is worth it just for the photos) the book is also interspersed with design tips, and installation advice. There's diagrams that offer some detail on foundations, directions on how to build a walkway, explanations on how to build a dry stream bed--and more. All of these things contribute to this book being an instant classic of the genre.