Sacred Gardens

In Christian, Islamic, Zen Buddhist and other traditions, the garden is seen as a metaphor for spiritual awakening and fulfillment. These sacred spaces were consciously designed to celebrate the beauty of nature, embody certain universal truths, and inspire the human spirit.



The Quest for Paradise
Ronald King
Mayflower Books (1979)

This finely illustrated book surveys the history of gardens from the Garden of Eden to contemporary garden designs.

The Chinese Garden
Maggie Kesuick
Academy Editions (1980)

The book explores the spiritual meaning of Chinese gardens by tracing their historical development to the present day through poetry, paintings and photographs.

Visions of Paradise
Marina Schinz
Stoddart Publishing (1985)

This beautiful book delights the senses with colours, textures and themes of the Western world's best-loved gardens.

The Complete Book of Water Gardening
William Rae-Smith
Bracken Books (1989)

Superb colour photographs and illustrations adorn this inspirational guide to water garden principles, traditions and techniques.

The World of Zen Gardens
Isao Yoshikawa
Graphia-sha Publishing (1991)

The many photographs in this book promote an understanding of and appreciation for the beauty of Japan's finest Zen temple gardens.


Gardens of the Spirit
Roni Jay
Godsfield Press (1998)

Full-colour photographs capture the splendor of Taoist, Zen, Islamic, Medieval, Renaissance, English Knot and Healing gardens from around the world.

Zen Gardens
Erik Borja
Seven Dials (2000)

The timeless, spiritual nature of Zen gardens is revealed through inspirational images and illuminating text.

The Garden Book
Phaidon Press (2000)

The book is a comprehensive, richly illustrated overview of 500 of the world's most celebrated gardens and landscapes from ancient times to the present day.


Gardens of Delight
Christa von Hantelmann and Dieter Zoern
Dumont monte (2001)

This wonderfully illustrated book is devoted to the great Islamic gardens of Spain, Syria, Morocco, India and Pakistan.

The Art of the Islamic Garden
Emma Clark
Crowood Press (2004)

The design and symbolism of the Islamic garden is described in this lavishly illustrated book which captures the spiritual dimension of traditional Islamic gardens.

The Art of the Japanese Garden
David and Michiko Young
Tuttle Publishing (2005)

Beautiful colour photographs capture the incredible beauty of Japanese gardens, incuding notable Zen, esoteric and paradise gardens.

Garden History
Tom Turner
Spon Press (2005)

The book is widely recognized as the definitive overview of the philosophy and history of gardens from 2000 BC to 2000 AD.

Japanese Stone Gardens
Stephen Mansfield
Tuttle Publishing (2009)

The stone gardens of Japan are unique in the pantheon of world gardens. The book describes the origins, meanings and hidden order of these minimalist gardens. The text is accompanied by numerous stunning photographs of classical Japanese gardens, including the famous Zen temple gardens of Kyoto.


Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America
Kendall Brown
Tuttle (2013)

Japanese-style gardens have been a part of North American culture for almost two centuries, providing both pleasure and inspiration with their artfully designed landscapes set within beautiful tranquil environments. The book examines the history, style and special functions of some of the most notable gardens on the continent.

Gardens of Marrakesh
Angelica Gray
Frances Lincoln Publications (2013)

Marrakesh, Morocco contains a series of splendid gardens hidden within its city walls but fully integrated into the urban landscape of orchards, markets, hotels and homes. This wonderfully photographed book captures the magic and natural beauty of this exotic locale as expressed through its many gardens.

Japanese Zen Gardens
Yoko Kawaguchi
Frances Lincoln (2014)

The spiritual characteristics of temple gardens and the impact of Zen Buddhism on the Japanese way of viewing the natural world are examined in depth. These principles are illustrated by beautiful colour photographs of temple gardens dating from the 14th century through to the present day.