Related to This Book

Parks, Plants, and People

Beautifying the Urban Landscape

Lynden B. Miller (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book

An inspirational and practical book about the benefits of enhancing cities with well-planted gardens, parks, and streets.

An internationally renowned public garden designer, with 27 years’ experience and an artist’s eye, Lynden Miller has changed the face of New York City’s public places by providing a connection with nature for neighborhoods, rich and poor. Parks, Plants and People describes the elements of successful public space and tells how to design, improve and maintain year-round plantings, how to advocate for increased public funding and how to attract private dollars.

She calls on the general public, gardeners, urban designers, architects, landscape architects and public officials—everyone who cares about the quality of life in urban areas—to create and support well-planted parks and gardens as essential urban oases that reduce crime and have positive effects on the economic welfare of cities and their citizens. Miller demonstrates the power of plants to soften and civilize public life and proves that beautiful public spaces, planted and maintained to high standards, have the power to transform the way people behave and feel about their cities. Her motto is: Make it gorgeous and they will come. Keep it that way and they will help.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • September 2009
  • ISBN 978-0-393-73203-0
  • 8.7 × 10.3 in / 208 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Miller’s authoritative book should be required reading for any study of urban planning, but it’s equally relevant to the home gardener. It’s full of useful design and plantings, clearly and unpretentiously presented.” — The New York Times

“[A]nyone who cares about urban parks—as a designer or user—will want to read this book.” — Landscape Architecture

“[A] must for any design professional involved with urban projects….extremely accessible for the professional and amateur alike….valuable, ground-breaking work.” — Traditional Building

“[A]n important book in many ways. It makes us understand the importance of public parks. It helps us understand the tremendous foresight the founders of the great parks displayed in creating these wonderful places. It causes us to heed the great need to protect, maintain and evolve all the parks and public spaces we now have. And most of all, it will make us all look at these spaces with new reverence and appreciation.” — Martha Stewart

“Lynden Miller understands the importance of parkland, gardens and open space to a growing, thriving metropolis. Parks, Plants and People highlights the benefits of planned green space for city dwellers, including its importance as an educational resource, an asset for tourism and a cornerstone for greater neighborhood safety. In addition, she provides valuable advice on how best to create new gardens in urban settings.” — Richard M. Daley, Mayor of Chicago, Illinois

“It’s no exaggeration to call Lynden Miller the godmother of New York City’s public green spaces. This book is a ‘must-read’ because not only does it gives practical advice about all the elements necessary to establish and maintain gardens, but it also clearly demonstrates the healing power of nature and the economic boon to the welfare of cities.” — Bette Midler

“Lynden Miller’s parks and gardens are monuments to her unique understanding of the power of beauty to transform city life, and to her gift for turning that vision into reality. This book is another monument to that gift.” — Robert A. Caro, author of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

“In Parks, Plants, and People Miller provides details of techniques in adminstration, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and practical maintenance, besides design advice. Above all she emphasises the value to communities of the healing power of nature, an important part of her design ethic....Her revitalized parks and gardens are monuments to the eternal power of beauty.” — Penelope Hobhouse, Gardens Illustrated

“[T]his practical guide is highly recommended for anyone planning green spaces in a community.” — Current Books on Gardening & Botany

“[F]ascinating….It’s hard to imagine who might not find this book useful, other than someone who never leaves the house.” — The Lakeville Journal

“[A] book about Lynden Breed Miller’s vital work is long overdue….More than any other New Yorker she has largely reversed the ill effects of the city’s 1970s era of disinvestment.” — The Huffington Post

“[A] first-of-its-kind bible for aspiring public garden planners….a marvelous read for lovers of gardens in general….One can only hope that Miller’s book will encourage many others to follow her down the urban garden path.” — The Hartford Courant

“Her ideas and arguments for more and better public spaces are compelling, and this fine book supports her views.” — Newsday

“Lynden Miller, an angel for public gardens…is changing the world.” — Passport

“[P]erhaps the best book ever written about the benefits of parks and open land in urban landscapes….An inspiration for all, this book was one of last year’s top award winners, cited by the American Horticultural Society. If you didn’t get this book for yourself or someone else last year, get it this year!” — Garden Design Online

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