When I began to research water gardening a few years ago, I read and referenced many library books. This exhaustive work helped me understand the many aspects of water gardening: the different kinds of gardens, how to create them, and the work involved in maintaining them. My research also helped me determine what kinds of plants I wanted and the potential pests that can create problems. I went through many different books to find this information, but few covered all these aspects, let alone in a concise and engaging manner. I wanted to find a single resource that would be both thorough and beautiful, and I searched both bookstores and online to find one. Then I discovered The Practical Rock and Water Garden, and I knew I’d found a treasure. I ordered it immediately, and it has become one of my favorite resources, not only because of its wealth of information, but for its inspiring photography.
This book by Peter Robinson really has it all. After a brief introduction, Robinson helps the reader choose his or her own style through the use of exquisite photos and informative explanations. He even lists the plants used in the pictures for each style! Garden styles include natural pools and raised pools, shade pools and bog gardens, even gravel gardens and dry river beds, and a wide variety of water features, from bubbling pots to full-size falls. He next shows examples of various extras, like bridges, islands, decks and more, explaining how best to incorporate them. Then comes the real meat: how to actually design and construct every conceivable water or rock garden. With the many step-by-step photos and clear information Robinson provided us, we were able to choose, design, and construct a beautiful water garden that has captivated not only our family, but visitors and neighbors as well. The book finishes with an exhaustive plant directory, fish information, and a thorough care and maintenance chapter.
Everyone enjoys our water feature, and there have been so many benefits to adding the pond to our property: the wildlife that the children are able to experience up close, the soothing sound of the waterfall as we sit on the patio, the variety that it adds to our landscape and more. If you have a water garden, or are thinking about adding one (and I hope you do!) this is the best book to guide you through this terrific addition to your gardens.