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It is with great sadness we report the sudden death of Michael Packard on Wednesday June 1st 2022.

The family are working through his affairs, and as such, no trading is possible that would usually have occurred through Michael himself, however some books are still available from his distributors.

For anything urgent, email   but please be aware that this address is infrequently monitored.

Your patience and understanding will be appreciated through this difficult period.

The Basics of Planting Design


A special discounted price of £21.00 is available to bona fide garden-design and landscape architecture students.

The Basics of Planting Design
  • Date of publication: November 2013
  • ISBN-10: 1 85341 144 2
  • Paperback ISBN-13: 978 1 85341 144 1
  • Pages: 110
  • Images: 148 colour plates and 21 black & white figs,line drawings & plans
  • Dimensions: 210 x 297 mm (A4 Landscape format)
  • Weight: 433 grammes (unwrapped)
Author(s): Lucy Huntington


Planting design is the selection and use of plants to achieve a designer’s objectives. There are now many new and interesting planting ideas and fashions, but municipal planting in particular and some gardens as well, can be pretty dire through lack of careful planting design. What is needed for all garden designers – who may well have come to design via a deep interest in plants – is an understanding of the basics of this vitally important design discipline: designs are three-dimensional, to be walked in and round, and viewed from all sides; designs will change over time; plants live and die and need to be tended for maximum effect; there is a huge choice of plants, a working knowledge of which takes experience. There are many pitfalls to be met in planting, therefore, which can be largely avoided by getting the basics of planting design right. This book will help designers to build a solid foundation for their future success and experience.

This book is part of the series, Workshops on Garden Design.


The Design Process; The Use of Plants; Planning Planted Areas; The Visual Qualities of Plants 1 - Shape, Habit & Texture; The Visual Qualities of Plants 2 - Colour and Size: Plant Selection; Planting Plans: Book List, Index; Plants Listed in the Text. 


Students of Garden Design and Landscape Architecture; landscape contractors and owners of medium to large gardens.


... 'this is a manual aimed at landscape and garden design students rather than the general public, and it contains the distilled experience of Lucy Huntington, who has been designing for over 40 years. She writes with clarity and straightforwardness that unravels the complexities of the design process ...[Where this book] ... is different and particularly useful is in Lucy's advice on the placing of plants, on their specifications to British Standards and on working out quantities. Clear illustrations show the importance of readable plans; what symbols work best, how to annotate with plant names, and how to draw groups of plants. Above all, it is with the client in mind that Lucy explains the difference between a confused plan and a clear one. All in all, this is a hard-working book that will be very helpful to design students.' 

Susie White in the Garden Design Journal, May 2014.

Author / Compiler

Lucy Huntington

Lucy Huntington

Lucy Huntington is a qualified horticulturist and garden designer with over 40 years of experience of running her own design practice. She holds a degree in Horticulture from the former Wye College, University of London, and a post-graduate diploma in Landscape Architecture from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers and was Co-Principal of the College of Garden Design, 1986-99 based in the UK., during which time she also ran six highly successful summer schools for garden designers at Aspen, Colorado, and one in Atlanta, Georgia. Lucy's career spans six years as a landscape architect working for the Greater London Council, after which she set up her own design practice with her husband, Francis, in 1984, based in Kent.


Direct from Publisher; RHS Wisley & Harlow Carr bookshops; RIBA Bookshop, London; Foyles, London; Gardners Books, Eastbourne (wholesaler).


Packard Publishing Ltd
14 Guilden Road
PO19 7LA

Tel & Fax +44 (0)1243 537977