If you’re a new homeowner, or are at least new to landscaping, you may be staring at your property while wondering just where to start with making a plan for planting and design. While there are some things you can do throughout the fall and winter months, you’ll have plenty of time during the cold season to make your major plans for spring planting. As you move to educate yourself about the intricacies of landscaping and design, consider adding these books to your home library.

Step-by-Step Landscaping, by Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens is known as the end-all-be-all for all things – well – home and garden. This stunning 408 page book contains more than 700 colorful images as well as more than 100 landscaping project descriptions. You’ll learn how to improve the grading of your ground, plan patios, fences, and water gardens, and when and how to plant certain species. Each project includes a general cost estimate, the length of time it will take to complete the project, and the skill level you’ll need. Start with something simple and you’ll be a pro before you know it.

Gaia’s Garden, Second Edition: A Guide to Home Scale Permaculture, by Toby Hemenway

Permaculture is the concept of working with nature, rather than trying to force ideas and concepts into a garden that simply isn’t in a supportive area. This book will teach you about creating proper fertility and structure for your soil, how to create natural water conservations, how to ensure animals still have habitats within your landscape, and more. This newer edition even includes information for urban dwellers with very little space in their apartments or yards.

Residential Landscape Architecture: Design Process for the Private Residence, by Norman K. Booth and James E. Hiss

This isn’t your average book. As a matter of fact, it’s a college textbook; but if you’re serious about learning the ins and outs of residential landscaping, it’s one you’ll want to have in your library. You’ll learn the principles of great land development, techniques for maintaining your work, and how to create a sustainable and realistic design. And, if you’re so inclined, you’ll have some basic information on how to start your own landscaping business in a residential area.

Landscaping with Stone, 2nd Edition, by Pat Sagui

Stone can be incredibly versatile in the design of any landscape, adding color, depth, and definition while at the same time protecting your overall structure. This incredible book will teach you how to incorporate stone into your home landscape design while showing you not only ideas for how to use stone but for how to ensure your stone matches the rest of your landscaping elements as well. You’ll find plenty of step-by-step guides and images.

Midwest Home Landscaping, 3rd Edition, by Roger Holmes and Rita Buchanan

The Home Landscaping series is incredible and covers the types of plants and landscaping techniques appropriate for different areas of North America. This particular edition covers the Midwest of the USA and the Southern/Central sections of Canada. You’ll learn the intricacies of the type of landscape that occurs natural in these areas and how to work with it. Different editions of the Home Landscaping series area available for the northeast, California, Texas, and other areas as well. Choose the edition most appropriate to your geographic location.

Landscaping doesn’t need to be a back-breaking or incredibly expensive project. Don’t try to attempt to landscape your entire yard in a day or even in a weekend. Take your time, choose techniques and ideas that will complement your overall home area, and enjoy yourself!

About the Author: Thaddeus Slaney is a landscaping specialist who uses paving stones and other tools to help with hardscaping and landscaping of commercial properties. He frequently references Install It Direct for ideas and quality materials.