Soils for Landscape Development

eBook - June 2014 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

Provides a clear, practical template for specifying landscape soils based on scientific criteria.

Soils for Landscape Development provides a clear, practical and systematic template for specifying landscape soils based on scientific criteria. The soil specifications provide essential information and a universally applicable method for landscape architects and designers, specification writers, landscape contractors and soil supply companies to ensure quality and fit-for-purpose soils. A strong emphasis is placed on reducing environmental impacts by reuse of on-site soil, promoting appropriate minimal soil intervention, and using recycled products.


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Simon Leake and Elke Haege were awarded the 2015 Australian Institute of Horticulture AIH Secretary’s Award, and the 2014 Excellence in Research and Communication Award from the Australian Institute for Landscape Architecture (AILA).

Soils for Landscape Development provides a clear, practical and systematic template for specifying landscape soils based on scientific criteria.

Soil Specifications Templates have been extracted from the book as an editable PDF for ease of use in reports compiled by landscape designers for their clients.


"Highly recommended, and an essential reference for anyone working in the landscaping or horticultural industry"
Subtropical Gardening Magazine, 2015


ePDF | June 2014
ISBN: 9780643109650
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • A ready reference to landscape soils to inform and promote sound reasoning for client understanding and satisfaction.
  • The Soil Approach Method promotes consideration of existing site resources and outlines steps to take to minimise costs through soil reuse and to use site soil analysis and edaphic considerations to inform and promote sustainable design.
  • A Site Soil Characterisation and Investigation Specification providing a method by which site-won soils should be characterised and can then be used to form part of the performance specification. Thus the performance specification process is not confined to the use of purchased imported soils.
  • Performance Based Specifications - where a compulsory specification is given outlining the ranges of physical and chemical properties essential for the performance criteria to meet the landscape treatment.
  • A set of Design Drivers to improve the adaptation of landscape to place and hence success rates and provide optimum landscape performance.
  • Verification and Quality Assurance Specification – steps and guidelines to enable clear, standard industry accepted processes over the quality of the product, certification requirements, construction process, and correct supply of specified landscape soils and mulches.


Design development process and the soil approach
Understanding soils for landscape developments
Soil design
Guidance to using the soil performance specifications
The performance specifications
Site investigation/analysis
Preparatory soil works
Soils for turf and lawns
Soils for gardens and mass planting
On slab media
Specialist soils
Validation specifications
Appendix A: Technical information, sampling and test methods
Appendix B: Forms and templates
Appendix C: Soil rooting volumes
Glossary of industry terms


Simon Leake is a soil scientist and Director of SESL (Sydney Environmental and Soil Laboratory) Australia. He has over 30 years of experience in the analysis, diagnosis, specification and quality assurance of agricultural soils and landscape soil media and has been lecturing and writing in the soil sciences for amenity and environmental horticulture for over 25 years. Simon has contributed to numerous Australian Standards publications and is regularly invited to lecture on landscape soils for landscape architecture university programs and arboricultural programs.

Elke Haege is an award winning registered landscape architect and consulting arborist who is dedicated to the development of and sustainable connection to natural systems. She is an executive committee member of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), is part of AILA's University Education Advisory Panel and has lectured at the University of New South Wales. During the last 15 years, Elke has worked on projects throughout Australia, China, Denmark, the UK and North America.