Graham Stuart Thomas made rock gardens an important part of his life's work. In this book, the first complete history and exposition of rock gardening, he provides the necessary geological background, traces the historical introduction of alpine plants and gives practical and aesthetic advice on how to create a rock garden and choose suitable plants. There are chapters on all the relevant topics – including grottoes, the history of early rock gardens, the scree garden, the alpine lawn, the peat garden, paths, ponds, the rock garden in autumn, dwarf conifers – and extensive information on suitable plants and shrubs. There is a revealing chapter on the restoration and maintenance of rock gardens, which dispels the fear that rock gardens involve a large amount of detailed work. Numerous illustration, many of which are of special historic interest, help to make this the most authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date volume on the subject.