If you’re wondering which landscape-related books to treat yourself or your loved ones to, help is at hand.

Books for Christmas: A selection

We have made a brief selection, ranging from some challenging thinking to pure indulgence.


Landscape books possible


Led by the Land/ Kim Wilkie/ Francis Lincoln

A look back over 20 years of exemplary landscape practice from the restoration of the Villa La Pietra in Florence to the strategic masterplan for the World Heritage Site at the Solovetski Archipelago, Russia.

Masterplanning Futures/ Lucy Bullivant/ Routledge

A series of case studies from around the world that look at how masterplanning is evolving to cope with new challenges. It tracks the move from imposed top-down masterplans to a more participatory approach.

Thomas Heatherwick: Making/ Thomas Heatherwick and Maisie Rowe/ Thames and Hudson

Co-authored by the world’s favourite designer and his wife, a landscape architect, the book examines the staggering 140 projects his studio has produced, and looks at the thinking and processes behind their creation.

To Design Landscape: Art, Nature & Utility/ Catherine Dee/ Routledge

Dee uses the concept of the ‘aesthetics of thrift’ in her designs and sets out her deliberately modest approach to projects around the world, illustrating them with her beautiful drawings.

1000 Details in Landscape Architecture: A Selection of the World’s Most Interesting Landscaping Elements/ Francesc Zamora Mola/ Firefly Books

Another book due out at the end of this month, this collections of the most inspiring details is aimed at professionals, students and anyone with an interest in landscape architecture.


The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies/ Edited by Peter Howard, Ian H Thompson and Emma Waterton/ Routledge

A collection of essays from leading thinkers in the field – also the subject of the Landscape Research Group’s annual lecture on 6 December.

Carscapes: The Motor Car, Architecture, and Landscape in England/ Kathryn A Morrison and John Minnis/ Yale University Press

Released at the end of this month, this book looks at the many ways in which cars have shaped the English landscape.

Petrochemical America/ Richard Misrach and Kate Orff/ Aperture

An exploration of America’s ‘petrochemical alley’, an incredibly polluted and degraded landscape, using haunting photographs and a diagrammatic approach to understand the history and context.

Remaking Metropolis: Global Challenges of the Urban Landscape/ Edited by Edward A Cook and Jesus J Lara/ Routledge

This book looks at urban decay and dereliction as well as regeneration. It examines a number of different approaches and discusses why they succeeded or failed.

Sweet & Salt – Water and the Dutch/ Maartje van den Heuvel and Tracy Metz/ NAI Publishers

A discussion of the long-term strategy that can keep the Netherlands, Europe’s lowest country, viable in a world of rising sea levels. With some beautiful illustrations.


The City in a Garden: A Photographic History of Chicago’s Parks/ Julia S Bachrach/ University of Chicago Press

An expanded version of a book that originally appeared in 2001, this book has been written following unprecedented access to a cache of documents, plans and drawings as well as photographs.

The Making of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park/ John C Hopkins and Peter Neal/ Wiley

The definitive publication that not only celebrates the park but also explains how it got to be the way it is and provides a valuable document to influence future projects.

Genius of Place – The life of Frederick Law Olmsted/ Justin Martin/ Da Capo Press

A reprint of the biography of the father of landscape architecture, looking at the man whose passion for social reform led him to create places that all could enjoy.

The London Square: Gardens in the Midst of Town/ Todd Longstaffe-Gowan/ Yale University Press

A look at the history, evolution and social significance of squares in a book that is both scholarly and accessible.


 Walking Home/ Simon Armitage/ Faber and Faber

A poet’s journey south along the Pennine Way as a modern troubadour, travelling without money and performing his poetry for board and lodging.

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot/ Robert MacFarlane/ Viking Books

An exploration of the stories that our tracks and paths tell, about walking as an activity and the ways we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move.

Talking Green/ Colin Ward/ Five Leaves Publications

A collection of essays by this historian of unofficial uses of landscape, which is extraordinarily relevant today.

Utopia/ Edited by Ross Bradshaw/ Five Leaves Publications

A compendium of writings by Five Leaves’ authors and friends, ranging from Peter Preston and Gillian Darley to William Morris.


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