From the Stacks: Brookes Books Bonanza

By | News From the Stacks | Tags: | February 11, 2014 | No comments

As I hope you’ve heard, this month the TBG is hosting one of the world’s leading and most influential garden designers for a special series of workshops and lectures. We are very excited that John Brookes will be visiting the TBG between February 18 to 25, 2014. Brookes will be presenting lectures and delivering courses. What an incredible opportunity to learn from a world-renowned expert! To read more about John Brookes’ visit, including the program schedule, descriptions and prices, please click here.

Brookes is well known as a prolific author and one of today’s original and emulated garden designers. He has also written more than 30 books on a variety of topics in garden design. The TBG’s Weston Family Library features many of his works, which can be borrowed by members for up to three weeks. Below is an annotated list of works by John Brookes and other notable garden design titles that are available in our library. Click the title’s link for more detail about its location.

(Not a TBG member but want to borrow books? You can purchase a regular TBG membership, or a Booklovers Membership [library benefits only] for just $10 a year. More details here.)

Works by John Brookes:

  • John Brookes’ Natural Landscapes: How to build, and plant your garden with nature in mind
    Brookes, John  635.29 B67
    Following an exploration of the principles and practice of natural gardening, and the basic design elements of the natural garden, the book engages in an in-depth look at specific sites such as coastal, woodland and wetland gardens. Copiously illustrated with how-to diagrams, garden plans and abundant full-colour photographs.
  • Well-Designed Garden: The classic garden-design sourcebook
    Brookes, John  712.622 Bro 2007
    Ideas, advice and inspiration accompanied by glorious full-colour photographs, black and white garden plans and ‘how-to’ inserts. Truly inspiring and full of stunning photographs.
  • The Book of Garden Design
    Brookes, John  712 B68
    This book teaches you step-by-step, from drawing board to finished garden, how to conceive, lay out, and realize a design. Chapters cover: learning to design, styling the garden, designing with plants, solutions, ingredients of a garden, plant selection and working information. Beautifully illustrated with inspiring photographs and site plans.
  • A Place in the Country
    Brookes, John  712 B68.3
    A book to stimulate ideas, open up possibilities, and explore consequences. Includes many photographs, solutions to particular problems such as restoring an existing garden, and a chapter on maintenance and protection. Beautiful illustrations of a variety of garden types and specific details.
  • The Country Garden: A Seasonal Guide to Designing and Planting Gardens with Natural Style
    Brookes, John  712 B68.4
    Organized seasonally, each section highlights a different aspect of gardening such as structural planning and other cold-weather topics. Chock full of beautiful and evocative photographs, charts and diagrams the book explores innumerable types of gardens: woodland, gravel, flower, cottage, enchanted, water and so on.
  • John Brookes’ Garden Design Book: The Complete Practical Guide to Planning, Styling and Planting any Garden
    Brookes, John  712 B68.5
    Good design is key to all successful gardens, large or small, urban, country or suburban. Brooke’s lucid and informative description of the fundamental principles and techniques make this book the ultimate garden ideas book. Illustrated with hundreds of full-colour photographs, drawings and plans the book is the essential sourcebook and guide for all who pursue the ideal  garden.
  • The New Small Garden Book
    Brookes, John 712.01 Bro
  • The Complete Gardener
    Brookes, John  712 B68.6
    Written for both the outdoor and indoor gardener, the book offers a wealth of information about developing and maintaining every conceivable type of garden and includes construction methods and maintenance tips. Part 1 focuses on outdoor gardening while Part 2 deals with indoor plants and their decorative properties. Replete with inspiring photographs, maintenance methods, and indoor plant care.
  • The New Garden: How to Design, Build and Plant Your Garden with Nature in Mind
    Brookes, John  712 B68.7
    Brookes provides indispensable practical advice on how to work in harmony with nature at every stage of your garden’s development—from the basic design and selection of materials for hard features, to choosing and positioning plant communities and introducing garden art.  Illuminating photographs, charts and garden plans.
  • Garden Masterclass
    Brookes, John  712 B68.8
    The author clearly states that it is the art of design that principally interests him, not the craft of horticulture, but his design philosophy always encompasses a relationship with nature: the nature of landscape and how the garden fits into its surroundings. Each chapter explores its subject in depth: setting; shape; direction; levels; enclosure; entrance; surface; structure; planting; water; style. A wide range of inspiring ideas; extraordinary photographs; annotated sketches and diagrams are presented in this exceptional garden design book.
  • Garden Planning
    Brookes, John (contributing editor)  712 P68
    A pocket encyclopedia with many plans and diagrams and inspiring photographs presented in five chapters: Choosing a garden style; Planning your garden; Creating the garden structure; Plants and planting; and Plant selection guide.
  • The Gardener’s Index of Plants and Flowers
    John Brookes & Kenneth A. Beckett  635/9 Bro
    A complete quick-reference guide to the characteristics and cultivation of more than 4,000 popular plants includes Planning your Planting; Planting your garden; the Plant-finder’s guide; Climate zones and Plant hardiness; How to find plants. Includes garden plans and photographs in colour as well as line illustrations.
  • Improve your Lot: How to Plan and Plant your Garden
    Brookes, John  712 B68.1
    The book explores aspects of creating “a pleasant place to be” from site characteristics; front, rear and and yard gardens; and other situations. Copious photographs and garden plans, as well as basic construction details, horticultural techniques and a plant list. A down-to-earth approach.
  • The Garden Book
    Brookes, John  712 B68.2
    A comprehensive exploration of various types of gardens and the steps to attain them: planning, garden types, constructing, choosing and using plants, finishing touches and a complete description of care and maintenance. Lots of full colour pictures and line illustrations illustrate the concepts.
  • Gardens of Paradise: The History and Design of the Great Islamic Gardens
    Brookes, John  712.5 B68
    The author considers the Islamic traditional garden and the idea of a garden as a symbol of paradise. Well illustrated with photographs and concludes with Notes on Designing a Garden in the Middle East.

Other notable library titles in garden design:

  • Color in Garden Design
    Austin, Sandra  635.20 A79
    Beginning by exploring colour theories and aspects of colour such as value, colour combinations and colour in the context of light, of texture and of time’s alteration, the text evolves to discuss plant colour combinations and composing with colour. Beautiful colour photographs illustrate the concepts.
  • Garden Design: Planning, Building, and Planting your Perfect Outdoor Space
    Young, Chris, Editor-in-Chief  712.6 Gar
    This practical and inspirational encyclopedia delivers everything you need to plan, build and plant the perfect outdoor space. Chapters cover: How to design; Choosing a style; Making a Garden; Plant and materials guide. A range of coloured photographs, plans, diagrams, a comprehensive plant guide and materials guide.
  • The Garden Design Book
    Merser, Cheryl, and editors of Garden Design Magazine  712.60973 Mer
    Chapter topics cover The Five Senses: a new way to think about what to plant; The Essential Design Elements: How Deliberate Gestures Shape the Land; Plants as Design Tools: What Plants Can Do for You; Plans for the Whole Garden: Ideas to Borrow from a Wide Choice of Styles. Sidebars provide lyrical ideas to enhance the topic discussed. Mouth-watering full-colour photographs inform and inspire.
  • Best Garden Design: Practical inspiration from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
    Young, Chris  712.60941 You
    The book showcases the best ideas, trends, styles and techniques from the Chelsea Flower Show, identifying the most attractive, practical and portable ideas and analyses how these ideas might work in any garden. Expert Tips by the garden designers are practical suggestions, inserted throughout the book. Copiously illustrated in colour.
  • Small Garden Design
    Collins, Paul  636.42 C59
    Beginning with an explanation of gardening and design basics, the book will help you to assess your own plot before moving on to discuss the cost, suitability and upkeep of the various materials available. Well illustrated with coloured photographs.
  • Garden Design for Outdoor Living: Social Gatherings
    Arthur, Carson  712.6 Art
    This Canadian publication features ten home gardens and their reinvention. Photographs, plans, and Dos & Don’ts accompany each garden makeover, as well as features about materials, waterworks, small space tricks and plants offer a wealth of ideas for the garden enthusiast.
  • Gardens for Living: Designing Your Outdoor Room
    Stevens, David  712.60942 Ste
    David Steven’s unique approach to garden design as an outdoor room with floors, walls, ceiling and furnishings, with a chapter on Maintenance and Renewal. Illustrated with over 200 colour photographs, plans and diagrams.
  • Planning your Garden: The complete guide to designing and planting a beautiful garden
    McHoy, Peter  712.6 McH
    A practical guide with ideas for every style, guidance on the basics of design, adapting plans, and how to deal with difficult sites. Contains advice on choosing plants for specific locations, special conditions, and different effects. Illustrated with plans, photographs, and step-by-step features.
  • Backyard Design: making the most of the space around your house
    Breskend, Jean Spiro  712.6 Bre
    Discusses: city yards, suburban yards, country yards, and rooftops, The practicalities, gardening basics, and such things as pools, garden structures, paving, etc. Illustrated with photographs, line drawings and garden plans.

List compiled by Jean Gardiner, library volunteer and Toronto Master Gardener.

Share this Article

Zack Osborne about the author: Zack Osborne

Zack Osborne is the Head Librarian at the Toronto Botanical Garden’s Weston Family Library. He has a Master of Information Studies in Library and Information Science from the University of Toronto, and has worked in many types of special libraries from the Royal Ontario Museum Library and Archives to De Beers Canada Inc. He is passionate about special collections, social media in libraries, and is developing a healthy obsession with collecting houseplants.

TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, ON CANADA | 416-397-1341 |