Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gift These Garden Books, Change the World

Personally, I think 2014 was a phenomenal year for garden books that matter. Maybe it's that way every year, but something seemed different. Below are several you must read if you're into sustainable, wildlife benefiting, low maintenance gardening (and you are because, hey, why else would you be visiting TDM?). Get these books at your local indie bookseller.

http://www.timberpress.com/books/know_maintenance_perennial_garden/diblik/9781604693348


We've all seen gorgeous perennial gardens packed with color, texture, and multi-season interest. Designed by a professional and maintained by a crew, they are aspirational bits of beauty too difficult to attempt at home. Or are they? The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden makes a design-magazine-worthy garden achievable at home. The new, simplified approach is made up of hardy, beautiful plants grown on a 10x14 foot grid. Each of the 62 garden plans combines complementary plants that thrive together and grow as a community. They are designed to make maintenance a snap. In fact, the entire garden is mowed down at the end of the season! The garden plans can be followed explicitly or adjusted to meet individual needs; size can be altered by treating the grid-like design as a modular building block that can be halved, doubled, or tripled as needed. This complete garden system makes a gorgeous perennial garden available to everyone, no matter their skill or the size of their space.

http://www.amazon.com/Taming-Wildflowers-Bringing-Splendor-Backyard/dp/0985562269


Wildflowers are the jewels of spring and summer everywhere. Families drive miles to witness their beauty in wild landscapes. Now, gardeners are discovering that they can easily and successfully cultivate these hardy native wonders right at home, for year-after-year enjoyment. Wildflower farmer and floral designer Miriam Goldberger believes that wildflowers belong as an essential part of North American gardens. Taming Wildflowers is the ultimate DIY book on wildflower gardening: part wildflower history (“How Wildflowers Changed the World”), part upbeat, informative how-to, and a little basic plant science, and an easy primer on designing with these wild and wondrous blooms. Her richly photographed book shows gardeners how wildflowers enhance the beauty and environmental health of their gardens by attracting birds, butterflies and other important pollinators; the simple steps in seed propagation (“Making Babies”); cutting garden must-haves (natives and non-natives); integrating wildflowers into the vegetable garden; harvesting fresh and everlasting wildflowers; drying; using floral design secrets to create long-lasting arrangements; and how to design a wildflower wedding. Features more than 60 of Miriam’s favorite wildflowers and 300 full-color photos.

http://www.timberpress.com/books/attracting_beneficial_bugs_your_garden/walliser/9781604693881



It may seem counterintuitive to want bugs in a garden, but insects are indeed valuable garden companions. Especially those species known for eating the bugs that eat plants. Assassin bugs, damsel bugs, and predatory stink bugs are all carnivores that devour the bugs that dine on a garden.
Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden is a book about bugs and plants, and how to create a garden that benefits from both. In addition to information on companion planting and commercial options for purchasing bugs, there are 19 detailed bug profiles and 39 plant profiles. The bug profiles include a description, a photograph for identification, an explanation of what they do for the garden, and the methods gardeners can use to attract them. The plant profiles highlight the best plants for attracting beneficial bugs and offer detailed information on size, care requirements, zone information, and bloom time. Design plans show gardeners how to design a border specifically for the bugs.
This complete, hands-on guide is for anyone looking for a new, natural, and sustainable way to control pests.

http://www.timberpress.com/books/living_landscape/darke/9781604694086


 A home garden is often seen as separate from the natural world surrounding it. In truth, it is actually just one part of a larger landscape made up of many living layers. And the replacement of the rich layers of native flora with turf grass greatly diminishes a garden's biological diversity and ecological function. The Living Landscape seeks to reverse this trend by showing gardeners how to create a landscape that is full of life. Written by Rick Darke and Douglas W. Tallamy, two of the most important voices in sustainability and horticulture, it is the definitive guide to designing a beautiful, biodiverse home garden. The authors first explain each layer of the landscape and what role the plants within them play in the larger environment, from providing berries for birds, food for bugs, or a place for bees to pollinate. The authors then put this information into context and offer design strategies to implement into a home garden. Helpful charts offer suggested plants, including natives and nonnatives, for each region.

http://www.amazon.com/Pollinators-Native-Plants-Identify-Beneficial/dp/0991356306


This is the first comprehensive book to illustrate the specific relationships between native pollinators and native plants. Organized by plant communities, the book profiles over 65 perennial native plants of the Midwest, Great Lakes region, Northeast and southern Canada and the pollinators, beneficial insects and flower visitors the plants attract. With its easy-to-use format, the book provides the reader with information on how to attract, plant for and identify pollinators with native plants. Beautifully designed and illustrated with over 1600 photos of plants and insects, the book includes information on pollination, types of pollinators and beneficial insects, pollinator habitat and conservation as well as pollinator landscape plans. This is an important book for gardeners, students, native plant enthusiasts, landscape restoration professionals, small fruit and vegetable growers and farmers who are interested in attracting, identifying, supporting or planting for pollinators.


5 comments:

dryheatblog said...

The know maintenance book...must get this one. That's it...turn the mass public's thoughts around by a homonym....

Jan Johnsen said...

have you seen my 2014 book? Heaven is a Garden.

Benjamin Vogt said...

D -- it's great! go go go!
J -- I have heard of it, but not read it. Oh my reading list! :)

Diana Studer said...

I'm looking forward to reading a new gardening book by the horticulturalist who designed the biodiversity garden at Grren Point Urban Park. Starting with the bit about year-round nectar plants for our sunbirds. Now they are in the Australian bottlebrush trees (coming down next week) to be replaced by some of her suggestions.

Nell said...

The Living Landscape has changed my life and gardening -- the right book at the right moment. I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone living in the eastern wants-to-be woodland region, but its major points are applicable wherever you're planted.