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Gardens of the High
                Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes

Large format, printed on 140lb matte finished art stock, all photos and graphics spot-varnished for maximum vibrancy

By Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke with graphic design by Lorraine Ferguson

    Gardens of the High Line, by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke, offers an in-depth view into the conceptual origins, planting designs, plant palette, and stewardship of this landmark achievement. It reveals a series of multi-season gardens that owe their vibrancy to dynamic communities of responsibly chosen native and introduced plants.  It also offers insights and inspiration for gardeners and garden designers looking to recreate its iconic, naturalistic aesthetic and to adopt its progressive management strategies. Featuring stunning photographs by Rick Darke and an introduction by Robert Hammond, the founder of the Friends of the High Line, this large-trim, photo-driven book is a must-have for anyone who appreciates the nature - the essential character - of design.  Gardens of the High Line is also available in German and French language editions.

durable softcover, 320 pages, over 300 photographs
8.8 x 1.1 x 11.9 inches
ISBN-10 1604696990    ISBN-13 978-1604696998
List price 45.00 USD

“A wholly enchanting celebration of the transformation of one sliver of urban industrial landscape.” (Booklist starred review)

“For those of us who don't live in New York City or can't visit it throughout the year, one of the things the book captures so beautifully is what the High Line looks like through the seasons and the different ways people use it and respond to it. It's culture on top of wildness on top of culture.” (Jennifer Jewell, host of NPR's Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden)

“If you can't get to the High Line, this image-rich publication is the next best thing. In some ways it's better, because its pictures bring home the seasonality of the plants, which ebb and flow from month to month.” (Adrian Higgins, The Washington Post)

"Lavishly illustrated." (Mother Nature Network)

The Living Landscape front cover

click here for a publicity image of Tallamy and Darke in front of a venerable red oak in Easton, Maryland

Doug Tallamy (L) and Rick Darke (R) by Melinda

Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden
By Rick Darke and Douglas W. Tallamy 

    Douglas W. Tallamy's award-winning Bringing Nature Home revealed the pressing need for a biodiverse home landscape. In a gorgeously illustrated, inspirational, and practical way, The Living Landscape supports this message by showing gardeners how to make it happen.This collaboration between Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy greatly expands on Darke's American Woodland Garden and The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition, and Tallamy's Bringing Nature Home to present an inclusive vision of the vital roles native plants can play in beautiful, ecologically sound and broadly functional residential landscape design.  Drawing from first-hand experience and research in wild habitats and diverse gardens, the authors employ five hundred photos and over sixty thousand words to detail their approach and strategies for creating richly layered landscapes that sustain both humans and wildlife.  The Living Landscape is organized by chapters on Layers in Wild Landscapes, The Community of Living Organisms, The Ecological Functions of Gardens, The Art of Observation, and Applying Layers to the Home Garden.

392 pp, 8.5 x 10.0", hardcover, over 500 color photos.  List price $39.95
ISBN-10: 1604694084  ISBN-13: 9781604694086  Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.

“This thoughtful, intelligent book is all about connectivity, addressing a natural world in which we are the primary influence.” (New York Times Book Review)

“The authors walk us through and help us understand the layered landscape, something that so many gardeners don’t address, consider, or even know to think about. It’s a gem!” (Pat Sutton, Director of Wild Ones)

"A fascinating and beautiful book on creating gardens for wildlife." (Library Journal)

"Will give meaningful definition to the idea of biodiversity... the book offers guidance for creating beautiful landscapes that will be durable and ‘support life without sacrificing aesthetics." (Publisher's Weekly)

"Shares insights on beauty and biodiversity, plants and pollinators, and new design strategies for personal gardens both large and small." (Talbot Spy)

The Wild
                Garden: Expanded Edition

"Rick Darke proves that Robinson's groundbreaking vision of the wild garden is a model for truly sustainable landscapes."

- Cole Burrell, Garden designer and author

"this new edition is two books in one, and a handsome volume at that.  Henry Mitchell said it all when he claimed gardeners owe all to William Robinson.  We do, and this book is the perfect way to appreciate that statement"

- Mary Keen, in BBC's Gardens Illustrated, February 2010

THE WILD GARDEN: Expanded Edition
By William Robinson and Rick Darke 

Publisher's description:
    William Robinson's revolutionary book, The Wild Garden, envisioned an authentically naturalistic approach to gardening that is more vital today than ever before. First published in 1870, The Wild Garden evolved through many editions and remained in print through the remainder of the author's lifetime (1838–1935). In the book, Robinson issued a forceful challenge to the prevailing style of the day, which relied upon tender plants arranged in rigidly geometrical designs. In sharp contrast, Robinson advocated for the use of hardy, locally adapted native and exotic plants arranged according to local growing conditions. Robinson's vision was inspired by his first-hand observations of natural habitats in Europe and North America, and he put his ideas into practice in his own garden at Gravetye Manor in West Sussex. The Wild Garden was ground-breaking and hugely influential in its day, and is stunningly relevant to twenty-first century gardeners and landscape stewards seeking to adopt sustainable design and management practices.     
    In addition to the complete original text and illustrations from the fifth edition of 1895, this expanded edition includes new chapters and 112 color photographs by award-winning photographer and landscape consultant Rick Darke. His new material places wild gardening in modern context, underscoring Robinson's importance in the evolution of ecological design and illustrating an inspiring diversity of contemporary wild gardens.
    The potent combination presented here makes this new edition of a timeless classic an essential resource for all who wish to know how we have arrived at our present understanding of gardens and what opportunities lie ahead. As will be immediately clear to anyone who leafs through this book, Robinson's urgent message continues to resonate.

360 pp, 8.5 x 8.5", hardcover, 112 color photos, 4 b/w photos, 3 color paintings, 96 lithographic illustrations.  November 2009  List price $29.95
ISBN-10: 0881929557   ISBN-13: 9780881929553  Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.


Read comments from Darrel Morrison and Ken Druse

Read the American Library Association review in Booklist

Read Scott Calhoun's review in the Winter/Spring 2004 issue of  Terrain.org A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments

Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest

Publisher's description: "In his unique and often thought-provoking new book, award-winning author Rick Darke promotes and stunningly illustrates a garden aesthetic based on the strengths and opportunities of the woodland, including play of light, sound, and scent; seasonal drama; and the architectural interest of woody plants. An alphabetical listing of woodland plants offers useful advice for every garden, emphasizing native trees, shrubs, vines, ferns, grasses, sedges, and flowering perennials that fit the forest aesthetic. More than 700 stunning photographs, taken by the author, show both the natural palette of plants in the wild and the effects that can be achieved with them in garden settings. The American Woodland Garden is a clarion call to a new awareness of our relationship to the natural world. This book will take its rightful place among the classic works that have influenced our concept of the American landscape."

The American Woodland Garden
received the American Horticultural Society's Book Award
and the Garden Writers Association Golden Globe Award for book photography.

378 pp, 10 x 11", hardcover, 738 color photos, 4 color charts, 2 line drawings. August 2002  List price $49.95.00 ISBN: 0-88192-545-4  Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.

Grasses for Livable
                Landscapes jacket front    

click here for large cover image


With more than twice as many photos and nearly twice the word count, this new book completely eclipses and extends far beyond the scope of Darke's award-winning prior encyclopedia, The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses (Timber Press, 1999).

Publisher's description:
"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.

484 pp, 10 x 11" (280 x 255mm), hardcover, 1046 color photos, 10 line drawings, 2 color maps. March 2007  List price $59.95.00 ISBN-13: 9780881928174 ISBN-10: 0881928178   Timber Press, Portland, Oregon 

In addtion to multi-city lectures in the USA, Rick Darke launched this new book at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show in Lonfrom the Gold Medal Award-winning Knoll Gardens stand.

Timber Press Pocket Guide to Ornamental Grasses

Publisher's description:  The Timber Press Pocket Guide to Ornamental Grasses provides an accessible and comprehensive reference to the wide range of grasses available to the gardener. Building on Darke's bestselling The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses, the guide describes many new species and cultivars, includes dozens of new photographs, and presents cultivation information and descriptions in a handy, compact format. Covering 530 species and cultivars and illustrated with 320 color photographs, Timber Press Pocket Guide to Ornamental Grasses is a valuable complement to Darke's Color Encyclopedia. Its convenient format makes it an ideal reference to take to the nursery or garden center.  
228 pp. 5.75 x 8.25 in.Flexibind, 320 color photos. August 2004  List price $19.95
ISBN 0-88192-653-1  Timber Press, Portland, Oregon

Publisher's description: With text and photography by Rick Darke, this full-color book highlights magnificently preserved or restored Arts and Crafts gardens in both England and North America, discussing the philosophy that informed their design and the place they hold within the movement. The Arts and Crafts landscape aesthetic is interpreted for today's gardeners, allowing them to incorporate the simplicity and harmony that distinguishes the style into their own outdoor spaces. The book details specific ways readers can bring Arts and Crafts elements to their homes and gardens, such as including pergolas that effectively link house and garden or by planting native species that add a compelling sense of place. Part Three: Arts and Crafts Gardens Across America provides unique and thorough coverage of Arts & Crafts people and places in North America, including Gustav Stickley, Henry Chapman Mercer, Rose Valley, Greene & Greene, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Bok Tower Gardens.  10" x 11 1/4", 160 pages, full color throughout. Softcover (currently unavailable new) list price $19.95. ISBN: 1586632183  ©2001 Michael Friedman Publishing Group Inc. Hardcover (currently unavailable new) list price $35.00 ISBN: 1567999042  ©2000 Michael Friedman Publishing Group Inc.


"This book is a model when it comes to the encyclopedic portraiture of plants" 

Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times June 6, 1999

Read Mark Griffiths' review in the Royal Horticultural Society's journal The Garden


Until it was eclipsed by Darke's own Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes (see above), this book was the best illustrated, most complete reference on ornamental grasses, featuring over 500 full color photographs of garden-worthy grasses, sedges, rushes, restios, cat-tails and bamboos. Many grasses are pictured in multiple seasons. Includes chapters on The Beauty of Grasses,  The Families of Grasses and Their Relatives,  The Names of Grasses,  Learning from Grasses in Native Landscapes,  Designing with Grasses, Growing and Maintaining Grasses, and the Encyclopedia section. Intended for gardeners in a wide range of situations and climates this book draws from the experience and creativity of great gardens and gardeners around the world. An invaluable tool for landscape architects, garden designers, nursery professionals, and home gardeners seeking to extend their knowledge of these beautiful and useful plants.  Foreward by Kurt Bluemel. 325 pages. 8 1/2" X 11" hardcover. $49.95   ISBN 0-88192-464-4  ©1999. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
AHS Book Award
The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses received the American Horticultural Society's Book Award

A CDROM version of this book was produced by Timber Press, including over 200 additional photos.


Consultant Editor: Rick Darke    Series Editor: Mark Griffiths 
Based on the Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, this volume describes grasses, sedges, and bamboos in authoritative detail, documenting their natural history and providing complete descriptions and cultural information. It contains all the information from the R.H.S. Dictionary plus more, with superb line drawings. 220pp., 30 line drawings, 6 X 9 1/2", hardcover, ISBN 0-88192-300-1   ©1995 Timber Press Inc.  $39.95 

A design-oriented introduction to ornamental grasses. Full color photographs explain the unique beauty and merits of grasses and portray their inspired use in gardens.  ISBN: 1-56799-323-0  ©1994, 1997  Michael Friedman Publishing Group Inc. 72pp. (no longer available) 


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