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California Landscape Architecture & Gardens

California Landscape Architecture & Gardens is a selective bibliographic research guide to UC Berkeley library and web resources on the history of California landscape architecture. This guide supports several UC Berkeley Landscape Architecture Department courses, including History of Landscape Architecture, The American Landscape, and Fundamentals of Landscape Design. While the entire state is represented, the emphasis is on northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. For additional assistance please consult the Library's catalogs or the Environmental Design Library reference staff, 210 Wurster Hall.

UC Berkeley faculty, registered students, and staff who are off campus may use items marked UCB Only or UC Only by using the Library's off-campus access services.

Content reviewed: June 2010. Compiled by Deborah Sommer.

Quick Facts

Included here are encyclopedias and guidebooks. Use these tools to get a quick overview of your site or landscape architect. Note that books on "gardens" often include information about other landscape types, such as parks.


Web Searches

To find websites for a specific site or individual:


Finding Books

Catalog Searching

Here is a selection of catalog subject headings that may be useful in finding books on California landscape architecture and gardens through the Library's catalogs. These terms can all be modified by place name, e.g., Landscape architecture--California--San Francisco Bay Area Guidebooks to cities may have sections on parks and public gardens, so check subject headings such as Berkeley, Calif.--Description and travel or Architecture--San Diego--Guidebooks.

[name of site]
Amusement parks
Hillside landscape architecture
Landscape architects--Biography
Landscape architects--[place name]
Landscape architecture-- [place name]
Landscape design
Landscape gardening
Parks--[place name]--Guidebooks
Rose gardens
Theater, open-air
Urban landscape architecture
Water in landscape architecture

Bibliographies may also be found in books and journal articles, at the ends of encyclopedia entries, and on the Web.


Finding Articles

Use journal and newspaper indexes and databases to discover articles on your topic. Some online databases include the full text of the articles you discover or the UC eLinks button image icon which may lead you to the full text elsewhere. In many cases, however, you will need to locate the print journal in the Library's collections; search the Library's catalogs by the journal title in order to find the shelving location and call number for the journal.

Journal Articles

Use journal article indexes and databases to locate articles on your topic; additional indexes are listed in Landscape Architecture Indexes & Abstracts. For UC Only or UCB Only titles, go to The Library's home pageFind InformationArticles.



The following journals share a focus on California, with an emphasis on history, gardening, or the built environment. Index coverage is indicated when known.

Newspaper Articles

For UC Only or UCB Only titles and for additional full-text newspapers on the Web, go to The Library's home pageFind InformationArticles.


Finding Images

This section lists sources for different types of images, including photographs, plans, drawings, and plat maps. For a more complete list of visual resources see Image and Sound Databases. In addition to the books and other sources already listed, landscape images and plans may be found in specialized books and on the Web. The archives listed in this guide are also potentially great sources for images.


Primary Research Materials

Archives, historical societies, and local libraries can be excellent sources of primary research materials in landscape architecture. To locate materials in libraries not listed in the Melvyl catalog, use WorldCat - UC Only. Some of these materials will be available via the Interlibrary Borrowing Service.

Historical Societies




California Landscape Architects

See also the bibliographic guide Biographical Information on Landscape Architects (UC Berkeley, Library) for a comprehensive listing of biographical resources. Archival collections are available for selected landscape architects; see the Archives section of this guide.

Collective Sources


Individual Landscape Architects

Here's a selected list of materials on a few significant California landscape architects. More sources are described throughout this guide; do a Web page search (CTRL-F) on the landscape architect's name to find them.


Individual Landscape Sites

Balboa Park
Berkeley Parks
Berkeley Rose Garden
Blake Garden
Crissy Field
Forest Lawn
Golden Gate Park
Griffith Park
Mountain View Cemetery
Ruth Bancroft Garden
The Sea Ranch
UC Berkeley Campus


Selected Readings

Here is a selection of readings on designed landscapes in California, representing the range of materials available in the Environmental Design Library. tip To find information about specific places, look at the journals or yearbooks of the local landscape architecture societies.

Statewide (Selected Readings)


Northern California (Selected Readings)


Southern California (Selected Readings)