5 Must-Have Garden Books

If designing or refreshing your landscape is on your to-do list, start by perusing a few locally relevant books. They provide inspiration and lots of much-needed information before you dig into that project.

So you want to design, redesign or refresh your landscape? Hmm… where to start? I’d recommend doing a little research, especially if you’re tackling the design and labor yourself.

Locally relevant books are a great place to start as they provide inspiration and lots of much-needed information before you dig into that landscape project.

Here is a list of my top 5 favorite books to help you get started:

Texas Trees: A Friendly Guide by Paul Cox & Patty Leslie Paztoor

It’s not by accident that my first book recommendation is about trees. They hold your landscape together and provide vital shade in the tough central Texas climate. And realistically, trees are the most important plant you can plant, so choose wisely. This book will help you do that.

Lawn Gone!: Low-maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard by Pam Penick

This book will help you decide what key areas you want and need in your landscape to make it livable and work for you. In addition, it has step-by-step instructions that are incredibly helpful. Pam Penick is a local designer, gardener and writer who knows what works and what doesn’t for our area.

The Water-Saving Garden by Pam Penick

If you want a sustainable garden and yard that emphasizes saving our most precious resource, this book is a must read. Landscape Designer Pam Penick provides important tips so you can have a garden that’s beautiful and saves water.

Plant-Driven Design by Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden

This tome will help you create a garden that looks natural to where you live. It will challenge your thinking and open your mind to the approach of letting your plant selection drive your design.

Texas Organic Gardening by J. Howard Garrett

This book will help you care for your new landscape organically and sustainably. Maintenance is just as important as good garden design.

Once you’ve done your research and decided how you want your landscape to look and function, then it’s time to meet with a landscape architect or designer. They can help you build on your idea and create the garden of your dreams.

Picture of Heather Ginsburg
Heather Ginsburg
Heather is a Texas tradeswoman through and through! With three state water licenses under her belt, she brings a unique perspective, background and expertise to the SAWS Education team. Heather’s deep understanding of and passion for sharing water knowledge makes her perfectly suited for coordinating and leading SAWS’ education tours. Prior to joining the SAWS family, Heather worked in the private sector as a landscape designer where she spent countless hours helping homeowners create beautiful, water-saving landscapes. Heather, along with her husband Brett and their two children, all strive daily to be kind humans who give back to Mother Earth.
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