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Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded [Paperback]

Douglas W. Tallamy , Rick Darke
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Booklist

Tallamy takes an obvious observation—wildlife is threatened when suburban development encroaches on once wild lands—and weds it to a novel one: that beneficial insects are being deprived of essential food resources when suburban gardeners exclusively utilize nonnative plant material. Such an imbalance, Tallamy declares, can lead to a weakened food chain that will no longer be able to support birds and other animal life. Once embraced only by members of the counterculture, the idea of gardening with native plants has been landscape design's poor stepchild, thought to involve weeds and other plants too unattractive for pristine suburban enclaves. Not so, says Tallamy, who presents compelling arguments for aesthetically pleasing, ecologically healthy gardening. With nothing less than the future of North American biodiversity at stake, Tallamy imparts an encouraging message: it's not too late to save the ecosystem-sustaining matrix of insects and animals, and the solution is as easy as replacing alien plants with natives. Haggas, Carol --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This book will not only foster a love of the outdoors in all who read it, but also create a deeper understanding and appreciation of the intricate web of wildlife outside your door." (Cabin Life)

"[It] is the book that is going to change how gardening is conducted over the next century." (Ants, Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Nature Blog)

"Doug Tallamy's book is a gift. It's not the kind of gift wrapped with a pink ribbon and a tiny rose tucked into the bow. It's the kind of gift that shakes you to your core and sets you on the path of healing. Your garden. Your planet. One plant at a time. Open it." (Plant Whatever Brings You Joy Blog)

"This book not only shows how important native plants are but also how easy they can be to incorporate into a landscape plan."

"This book aims to motivate parents and caregivers who are concerned about childrens' lack of connection to the outdoors."



"A fascinating study of the trees, shrubs, and vines that feed the insects, birds, and other animals in the suburban garden."

"We all know where resistance to natives, reliance on pesticides, and the cult of the lawn still reign supreme: suburban America. And suburban America is where Doug Tallamy aims the passionate arguments for natives and their accompanying wildlife." 

"In an area that is as open and wooded as ours, we may not be aware that there is more to the need for natives than concern about invasive species that upset an ecosystem. According to Tallamy, a balanced ecosystem needs more insects.  It is when the balance of the system is disrupted that problems arise."

"Tallamy's book is a call to arms.  There is not much ordinary citizens can do to create large new preserves.  But we can make better use of the small green spaces we have around our houses.  While the situation in the United States is quite serious, Tallamy offers options that anyone with a garden, even a postage-stamp-sized one like mine, can do to help."

"Tallamy makes such a compelling case for the importance of insects to birds that I’ve completely changed the way I garden.  From now on, insect attractors are my first choices."

"Tallamy illustrates well how gardeners have contributed greatly to tipping the environment off balance and how they are equally able to turn the trend … Plants and insects are integrally intertwined.  Understanding the beauty of these relationships deepens our appreciation of our gardens and the important role we play."

He combines the passion which many of us have, with the science, and that’s a winning combination.

"An informative and engaging account of the ecological interactions between plants and wildlife, this fascinating handbook explains why exotic plants can hinder and confuse native creatures, from birds and bees to larger fauna." 

"The book evolved out of a set of principles. So the message is loud and clear: gardeners could slow the rate of extinction by planting natives in their yards. This simple revelation about the food web—and it is an intricate web, not a chain—is the driving force in Bringing Nature Home."

Bringing Nature Home opens our eyes to an environmental problem of staggering proportions. Fortunately, it also shows us how we can help.



You can look at this book as a manifesto explaining why we should favor native plants, but it’s much more than that. It’s a plan to sustain the endangered biodiversity and even more, it’s a plan to transform suburbia from an environmental liability to an environmental asset.



This updated and expanded edition … is a delight to read and a most needed resource."




"This book is not a rant on nature gardening, nor is it a typical garden design book, or a stuffy academic textbook. The author might be a professor … but he has written a book which is readable, scientific, fascinating, and highly digestible."

"This is the 'it' book in certain gardening circles. It's really struck a nerve."



"My book of choice of the year."



“Tallamy explains in beautiful prose the importance of native plants to our wildlife.”

"Buy, borrow, or steal this book! It is essential reading with ideas that need to become part of our understanding of how life works on this planet."

About the Author

Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer based in Pennsylvania who blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the creation and conservation of livable landscapes. Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years, and in 1998 he received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. Darke has studied North American plants in their habitats for over three decades, and his research and lectures have taken him to Africa, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, and northern Europe. His books include The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes (2007), The American Woodland Garden (2002), and In Harmony with Nature (2000).



Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware where he has authored 80 research articles and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect ecology and other courses for 32 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His first book Bringing Nature Home was awarded the 2008 silver medal by the Garden Writer’s Association. Doug was awarded the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd Jr. Award of Excellence in 2013.

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