Sixty Books for a Working Landscape Library

The interns at my office once polled the design staff on a number of important issues--ie. how many times per day do you type Ctrl-Z? How many trips to the corner deli this week?--and shared their responses. 'In case of fire,' they also asked, 'and barring the normal physical constraints, what would you first save from the studio?' Some answered 'the server' or 'the drafting tables,' but the runaway favorite was the library.

I've toyed ever since with the list of titles that I would toss down the mail chute to safety before succumbing to smoke inhalation. The sixty below represent that list as of April 2014. They're not necessarily the "best," the best-selling, or even the most popular books on the shelf. They're the ones that I would protect so a professional studio could get right back to work the next day (or the same day if we could all get Wifi in the park or cram into the same little coffee shop).

As such they are a peculiar mix of theory and practice, reference and inspiration. Some are academic, but no one ideology permeates. Several are written by practitioners, but none promote the design work of a single firm. The few that are very geographically specific were chosen more for their generalizable lessons or graphical precedents.

You can follow the "Library" link below each to find the loaner copy nearest you. In case you want to add any to your own permanent collection, there are also links to buy through Better World Books if you can, Amazon if you must, or direct from the publisher.

For this post there are sixty, but every day brings new candidates. Maybe what I need is a good, roomy, fireproof safe. What would go into yours? 

The American Meadow Garden  John Greenlee & Saxon Holt +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

The American Meadow Garden 
John Greenlee & Saxon Holt
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Arboriculture: Integrated Management of Landscape Trees, Shrubs, and Vines  James R. Clark, Richard W. Harris, & Nelda P. Matheny +Library +BWB  +Amazon 

Arboriculture: Integrated Management of Landscape Trees, Shrubs, and Vines 
James R. Clark, Richard W. Harris, & Nelda P. Matheny
+Library +BWB 
+Amazon 

The Architecture of Western Gardens: A Design History from the Renaissance to the Present Day  Monique Mosser & Georges Teyssot +Library +BWB  +Amazon

The Architecture of Western Gardens: A Design History from the Renaissance to the Present Day 
Monique Mosser & Georges Teyssot
+Library +BWB 
+
Amazon

Armitage's Garden Perennials  Allan M. Armitage +Library +BWB  +Amazon +Publisher

Armitage's Garden Perennials 
Allan M. Armitage
+Library +BWB 
+Amazon +Publisher

The Art of the Islamic Garden  Emma Clark +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

The Art of the Islamic Garden 
Emma Clark
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Building Codes Illustrated  Francis D.K. Ching +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Building Codes Illustrated 
Francis D.K. Ching
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Case: Downsview Park  Julia Czerniak +Library +Amazon

Case: Downsview Park 
Julia Czerniak
+Library +Amazon

The Chinese Garden: History, Art, and Architecture  Maggie Keswick +Library +BWB +Amazon

The Chinese Garden: History, Art, and Architecture 
Maggie Keswick
+Library +BWB
+Amazon

City: Rediscovering the Center  William H. Whyte +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

City: Rediscovering the Center 
William H. Whyte
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Constructing Landscape: Materials, Techniques, Structural Components  Astrid Zimmerman +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher +Preview

Constructing Landscape: Materials, Techniques, Structural Components 
Astrid Zimmerman
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher
+Preview

Data Flow 2  Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, Nicolas Bourquin, & Thibaud Tissot +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Data Flow 2 
Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, Nicolas Bourquin, & Thibaud Tissot
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

The Death and Life of Great American Cities  Jane Jacobs +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

The Death and Life of Great American Cities 
Jane Jacobs
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Design for Flooding: Architecture, Landscape, and Urban Resilience to Climate Change  Donald Watson & Michele Adams +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Design for Flooding: Architecture, Landscape, and Urban Resilience to Climate Change 
Donald Watson & Michele Adams
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Design of Cities  Edmund N. Bacon +Library +BWB +Amazon

Design of Cities 
Edmund N. Bacon
+Library +BWB
+Amazon

Design with Nature  Ian L. McHarg +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Design with Nature 
Ian L. McHarg
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Designing Outdoor Environments for Children: Landscaping School Yards, Gardens and Playgrounds  Mary Haque, Erin Knight, Gina McLellan, & Lolly Tai +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Designing Outdoor Environments for Children: Landscaping School Yards, Gardens and Playgrounds 
Mary Haque, Erin Knight, Gina McLellan, & Lolly Tai
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Detail in Contemporary Landscape Architecture Virginia McLeod +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Detail in Contemporary Landscape Architecture
Virginia McLeod
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs  Michael A. Dirr +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs 
Michael A. Dirr
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

The Elements of Style Illustrated  William Strunk, E.B. White, & Maira Kalman +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

The Elements of Style Illustrated 
William Strunk, E.B. White, & Maira Kalman
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes  Rick Darke +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes 
Rick Darke
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

The Endless City  Ricky Burdett & Deyan Sudjic +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

The Endless City 
Ricky Burdett & Deyan Sudjic
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Envisioning Information  Edward R. Tufte +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Envisioning Information 
Edward R. Tufte
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

The Garden as Architecture: Form and Spirit in the Gardens of Japan, China, and Korea  Toshiro Inaji & Pamela Virgilio +Library +BWB +Amazon

The Garden as Architecture: Form and Spirit in the Gardens of Japan, China, and Korea 
Toshiro Inaji & Pamela Virgilio
+Library +BWB
+Amazon

Garden History: Philosophy and Design, 2000 BC - 2000 AD  Tom Turner +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Garden History: Philosophy and Design, 2000 BC - 2000 AD 
Tom Turner
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

The Garden in Winter  Rosemary Verey +Library +BWB +Amazon

The Garden in Winter 
Rosemary Verey
+Library +BWB
+Amazon

Great Streets  Allan B. Jacobs +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Great Streets 
Allan B. Jacobs
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Green Infrastructure: A Landscape Approach  Ignacio F. Bunster-Ossa & David C. Rouse +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Green Infrastructure: A Landscape Approach 
Ignacio F. Bunster-Ossa & David C. Rouse
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Green Roof Systems: A Guide to the Planning, Design and Construction of Landscapes Over Structure  Susan Weiler & Katrin Scholz-Barth +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Green Roof Systems: A Guide to the Planning, Design and Construction of Landscapes Over Structure 
Susan Weiler & Katrin Scholz-Barth
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Handbook of Regular Patterns  Peter S. Stevens +Library +BWB +Amazon

Handbook of Regular Patterns 
Peter S. Stevens
+Library +BWB
+Amazon

High Performance Landscape Guidelines: 21st Century Parks for NYC  Design Trust for Public Space & New York Department of Parks and Recreation +Library +Amazon  +Free PDF

High Performance Landscape Guidelines: 21st Century Parks for NYC 
Design Trust for Public Space & New York Department of Parks and Recreation
+Library +Amazon 
+Free PDF

Interior Planting: A Guide to Plantscapes in Work and Leisure Places  Lynn Lockwood Seignot +Library +Amazon

Interior Planting: A Guide to Plantscapes in Work and Leisure Places 
Lynn Lockwood Seignot
+Library +Amazon

Land Mosaics: The Ecology of Landscapes and Regions  Richard T.T. Forman +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Land Mosaics: The Ecology of Landscapes and Regions 
Richard T.T. Forman
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Landscape Architectural Graphic Standards  Leonard J. Hopper +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Landscape Architectural Graphic Standards 
Leonard J. Hopper
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History  Elizabeth Barlow Rogers +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History 
Elizabeth Barlow Rogers
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

The Landscape of Man: Shaping the Environment from Prehistory to the Present Day  Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe & Susan Jellicoe +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

The Landscape of Man: Shaping the Environment from Prehistory to the Present Day 
Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe & Susan Jellicoe
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary  Dhiru Thadani +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary 
Dhiru Thadani
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space  Jan Gehl +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space 
Jan Gehl
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Low Impact Development: A Design Manual for Urban Areas  University of Arkansas Community Design Center +Library +Amazon +Publisher +Free PDF

Low Impact Development: A Design Manual for Urban Areas 
University of Arkansas Community Design Center
+Library +Amazon
+Publisher +Free PDF

Manufactured Sites: Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape  Niall Kirkwood +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Manufactured Sites: Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape 
Niall Kirkwood
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Materials for Sustainable Sites  Meg Calkins +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Materials for Sustainable Sites 
Meg Calkins
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Meaning in Landscape Architecture and Gardens  Marc Treib +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Meaning in Landscape Architecture and Gardens 
Marc Treib
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

The Measure of Man & Woman: Human Factors in Design  Alvin R. Tilley +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

The Measure of Man & Woman: Human Factors in Design 
Alvin R. Tilley
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape  Anuradha Mathur & Dilip da Cunha +Library +BWB +Amazon

Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape 
Anuradha Mathur & Dilip da Cunha
+Library +BWB
+Amazon

The Modernist Garden in France  Dorothee Imbert +Library +BWB +Amazon

The Modernist Garden in France 
Dorothee Imbert
+Library +BWB
+Amazon

Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: A Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers Gary L. Hightshoe +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: A Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers
Gary L. Hightshoe
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Petrochemical America  Richard Misrach & Kate Orff +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Petrochemical America 
Richard Misrach & Kate Orff
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Planting: A New Perspective  Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Planting: A New Perspective 
Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens  Charlotte M. Frieze +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens 
Charlotte M. Frieze
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World  Emma Marris +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World 
Emma Marris
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs  Ellen Dunham-Jones & June Williamson +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs 
Ellen Dunham-Jones & June Williamson
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Rising Currents: Projects for New York's Waterfront  Barry Bergdoll +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Rising Currents: Projects for New York's Waterfront 
Barry Bergdoll
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Site Construction Details Manual  Nicholas Dines & Kyle Brown +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Site Construction Details Manual 
Nicholas Dines & Kyle Brown
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Site Engineering for Landscape Architects  Steven Strom, Kurt Nathan, & Jake Woland +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Site Engineering for Landscape Architects 
Steven Strom, Kurt Nathan, & Jake Woland
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Soil Design Protocols for Landscape Architects and Contractors  Timothy A. Craul & Philip J. Craul +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Soil Design Protocols for Landscape Architects and Contractors 
Timothy A. Craul & Philip J. Craul
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Theory in Landscape Architecture: A Reader  Simon Swaffield +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Theory in Landscape Architecture: A Reader 
Simon Swaffield
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces  Clare Cooper Marcus & Naomi Sachs +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces 
Clare Cooper Marcus & Naomi Sachs
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Up by Roots  James Urban +Library +Amazon +Publisher

Up by Roots 
James Urban
+Library +Amazon
+Publisher

Urban Regions  Richard T.T. Forman +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Urban Regions 
Richard T.T. Forman
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

A Visual Dictionary of Architecture  Francis D.K. Ching +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

A Visual Dictionary of Architecture 
Francis D.K. Ching
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher

Wetlands  William J. Mitsch & James G. Gosselink +Library +BWB +Amazon +Publisher

Wetlands 
William J. Mitsch & James G. Gosselink
+Library +BWB
+Amazon +Publisher