The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes (Hardcover)

The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes By Rick Darke Cover Image
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In this new book noted grass expert and advocate Rick Darke addresses both the aesthetic qualities of grasses in private gardens and the opportunities and challenges of using them in wild and constructed public landscapes. All the true grasses, sedges, rushes, restios, and cattails that possess ornamental merit or that can contribute to ecological plantings are described, and practical matters of propagation, growth, and maintenance are also covered. More than 1000 stunning photographs show details of individual plants and hundreds of gardens and landscapes in which grasses play a prominent part. This worthy successor to The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses is a new type of design reference that sets a standard for inspired, sustainable use of grasses.

About the Author

Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer based in Pennsylvania who blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the creation and conservation of livable landscapes. His projects include scenic byways, public gardens, corporate and collegiate campuses, mixed-use conservation developments, and residential gardens. Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years and received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. Darke is recognized as one of the world's experts on grasses and their use in public and private landscapes. For further information visit

Praise For…

“Has a far more global perspective than his earlier books. . . . This new book opens its boundaries to welcome plants from other parts of the world if they can thrive without water, fertilizer and pesticides; if they are not invasive; and if they can harmonize with the surrounding landscape.” —The New York Times
“What a beauty. Rick is one of the best of all time; passionate about gardening and plants, so talented and a good guy. Really knows his grasses.” —NPR
“Darke’s accuracy in listing and describing ornamental grasses reflects his scholarship on the subject. . . . The subject is overwhelming to cover in one reference, but Darke has done it with great clarity here.” —The Washington Post

“A scholarly encyclopedia of ornamental grasses, the most comprehensive and well-researched book on the subject, and one that will remain the most important reference on ornamental grasses for decades.” —BBC Gardens

“Just what the plant doctor ordered. It’s a tonic for the eyes with more than 1,000 color photographs.” —Newsday

“Darke’s impressive achievement should stand as the definitive resource for grasses for some time to come.” —Booklist

“A wealth of ideas and information. . . . A plethora of design ideas.” —SciTech Book News

“It is ever so much more than just big and beautiful. It is comprehensive, up-to-date, and mature. Darke shows us grasses. . . as bonafide denizens of the modern garden and, further, places them in the forefront of the movement to develop ecologically functional, ‘natural’ landscapes.” —Pacific Horticulture
“There’s a new love song to grasses, and its notes range up and down the entire scale, from the highs of a grass’s simple, natural beauty, to the lows of the cultural requirements to grow each one successfully. . . . Darke completely supercedes his previous book.” —Garden Design Online

“The detailed descriptions of ornamental grasses and evocative examples of their use in the landscape offer something for gardeners of all levels of expertise and experience.” —American Gardener

“Opening chapters discuss the global significance, botany and beauty of grasses. Design, cultivation and maintenance are also detailed. The massive plant encyclopedia describes hundreds of different grasses. . . . with specifics to help gardeners select the most appropriate grasses for their conditions and help nurseries decide which ones to stock.” —LA Times

“What a beauty. Rick is one of the best of all time; passionate about gardening and plants.” —Homegrown

Product Details
ISBN: 9780881928174
ISBN-10: 0881928178
Publisher: Timber Press
Publication Date: April 15th, 2007
Pages: 484
Language: English