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Natural Landscaping: Gardening With Nature To Create A Backyard Paradise [Hardcover]

Sally Roth
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 15 1997 Rodale Garden Book
Whether you yearn for a colorful meadow garden splashed with asters and black-eyed Susans, a shady garden filled with graceful woodland wildflowers and feathery ferns, or a poolside planting lush with Japanese iris and astilbes, Natural Landscaping can help you make your gardening dreams a landscape reality. Page after page of this stunning book shows you the beauties and benefits of a natural garden. And a garden that takes its inspiration from nature is a beacon to birds, butterflies, toads, and other wild creatures. Author Sally Roth has a lifetime's experience creating natural landscapes. In this beautifully designed, lavishly illustrated book, she tells you everything you need to know about creating a natural landscape. You'll find:

* Chapters on meadow and prairie gardens, woodland and shade gardens, water and bog gardens, gardens for songbirds and hummingbirds, and gardens to attract butterflies and moths.
* Step-by-step projects for building special garden features. The easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations take you through the basics of creating such exciting garden additions as a waterfall and a bluebird nest box. You'll learn how to install garden lighting to add a glow to walkways, create a bubbling spring for birds, build a rustic bench, and more.
* Garden plans for such varied gardens as a moonlight garden, a birdseed garden, and a hummingbird garden. You'll find nine beautifully illustrated plans that show you exactly how to create special natural gardens. You can follow the plans exactly or adapt them for your own needs.
* Effective gardening techniques, each explained with step-by-step illustrations. You'll learn the easiest way to strip sod for a new garden, how to saw through a limb without damaging the tree, an effortless way to propagate your plants, and how to control problems organically. With these simple instructions, every gardener-- even a beginner-- can create and maintain a lush natural landscape.
* Profiles of delightful natural landscapes created by gardeners across the country. Each profile features a different kind of natural landscape, from a prairie planting to a butterfly garden to a yard designed just for the birds. The gardeners talk about their inspirations and share valuable tips on how to create your own version.
* Scores of quick-reference charts show you the best plants for every type of natural landscape. No matter where you live, you'll find a selection of the best plants for your area-- whether you're looking for flowers to attract hummingbirds, grasses for a prairie garden, shrubs for your woodland garden, plants to soften a pool's edge, flowers for a night garden, or wildflowers for your sunny meadow garden. You'll find helpful charts of the best plants for each garden style, conveniently located at the end of each chapter.

With lively, authoritative text and more than 250 gorgeous color photos and illustrations, Natural Landscaping is an indispensable guide to a lush, inviting garden that's full of the beauty of nature.

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From Amazon

Natural Landscaping is an intelligent and quietly compelling guide for naturalizing the garden. Country Living Gardener editor Sally Roth relies on decades of organic gardening experience, personal anecdotes, and a belief in working in concert with Mother Nature to restore native ecosystems. In the tradition of gardening manuals, she offers best-of lists for everything from grasses for prairie gardens to flowers for a night garden to plants to soften a pool's edge, always stressing the overarching importance of flora-fauna harmony. She also includes helpful tips and sidebars on bird-nest materials, unique ground covers, building dry streambeds, and making homemade sap for butterflies. There's a solid chapter on wall and path design and welcome field-guide information on water wildlife, birds, and butterflies. Roth's tone is warm throughout, and she further personalizes the book by including sidebars about other gardeners and their gardens. Grassland, woodland, and freshwater-area ecosystems are covered, although information on coastal or arid areas is absent. For readers in the Southwest, Desert Landscaping would be a better choice.

The real shine of Natural Landscaping is in the details on creating a natural habitat that is self-contained and self-perpetuating. For instance, one can plant a butterfly bush to attract butterflies, but what perennial will butterflies lay their eggs in for next year? Instead of fighting a never-ending battle of trapping and killing moles, let these insect-eating creatures tunnel their homes and aerate your soil. Your first impulse may be to tidily clear away fallen wood, but why not position it ornamentally and nourish the soil at the same time? The book is full of this kind of sensible wisdom. It's clear Roth has taken her lessons from Mother Nature seriously. --Karen Karleski

Review

"In Natural Landscaping, Sally Roth creates a very personal vision of nature and the gardener's place in the natural world. She presents a persuasive argument for having birds and butterflies in our daily lives, and offers a wealth of ideas and projects to attract and keep them. The ideas presented in this book apply well beyond the confines of the backyard. After reading this book you might just give your front yard to wildlife, too."--C. Colston Burrell, author of A Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wildflowers

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A natural landscape nurtures the gardener. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars too muddled to be useful or recommended Oct. 25 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I speak on the subject of natural landscaping frequently - I've been doing this for years.
I always search out useful references so audiences can go home and apply what we've discussed. I would not recommend this book. This book muddles the concept of "natural" and "native" to the point that an inexperienced gardener is likely to plant invasive, non-native plants and never realize they have created a disaster where they hoped to create environemental harmony in their yard. Awhile after the fact they may realize what has happened - I speak to disappointed homeowners often.
Diekelman's book of the same title is much better, especially for folks in the Midwest.
It is somewhat techincial, so may be a little dense for beginners, but at least it won't cause mistakes, disappointment and regret.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas March 26 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book offers some basic ideas in landscpaing your property in order to maintain a natural look. It offers beautiful uses for wet areas instead of trying to correct it.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for your gardening library Jan. 3 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I originally bought this book ONLY because Ms. Roth is a local writer and I had enjoyed her newspaper columns and also went to a few lectures that featured her. As I have matured as a gardener I am very cautious about spending my garden dollars. I assumed that this book would be one of the "fluffy" books similar to my first garden book purchases. I was surprised at the depth of information and wealth of ideas. In talking to other gardeners or anyone else interested in nature, I always recommend this book as a must for their gardening library. I have probably reread the book 3 times since I purchased it and always pick up something new.
Was this review helpful to you?
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
There are a number of books out on natural landscaping - a fast-growing field - but this is the first one I found which included useful information on the whole spectrum of related issues: style, philosophy, horticulture, and wildlife habitat and feeding. Chapters on woodland and prairie gardens are excellent. There are good lists of native plant nurseries; sound information on water features; and inspirational but not too idiosyncratic commentary by the author - just about everything someone needs to get started. And as someone who has already worked with this style for some time, I can also say it's useful for the experienced gardener. Besides, I like the author's style - she is a serious garden writer who can relate to those of us who don't go about designing in the traditional way with grids, etc. Highly recommended. The only reason I didn't give it four stars was that in a couple of cases, I had questions about the execution of certain plans which were not answered in the text or drawings. Still, that sort of detail can be gotten around given the clear principles outlined in the various projects. If you can just have one book on the subject, this would serve you well.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for your gardening library Jan. 3 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I originally bought this book ONLY because Ms. Roth is a local writer and I had enjoyed her newspaper columns and also went to a few lectures that featured her. As I have matured as a gardener I am very cautious about spending my garden dollars. I assumed that this book would be one of the "fluffy" books similar to my first garden book purchases. I was surprised at the depth of information and wealth of ideas. In talking to other gardeners or anyone else interested in nature, I always recommend this book as a must for their gardening library. I have probably reread the book 3 times since I purchased it and always pick up something new.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all-around source on the new natural approach Oct. 28 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There are a number of books out on natural landscaping - a fast-growing field - but this is the first one I found which included useful information on the whole spectrum of related issues: style, philosophy, horticulture, and wildlife habitat and feeding. Chapters on woodland and prairie gardens are excellent. There are good lists of native plant nurseries; sound information on water features; and inspirational but not too idiosyncratic commentary by the author - just about everything someone needs to get started. And as someone who has already worked with this style for some time, I can also say it's useful for the experienced gardener. Besides, I like the author's style - she is a serious garden writer who can relate to those of us who don't go about designing in the traditional way with grids, etc. Highly recommended. The only reason I didn't give it four stars was that in a couple of cases, I had questions about the execution of certain plans which were not answered in the text or drawings. Still, that sort of detail can be gotten around given the clear principles outlined in the various projects. If you can just have one book on the subject, this would serve you well.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites March 6 2005
By Che Zee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was my first gardening book, and I feel so very lucky, because the author's sensibility matches my own, and her emphasis on planting for wildlife makes her a kindred spirit. Here I first learned the definition of a meadow garden, a woodland garden, and even the names of birds and butterflies. I first became aware of Joe Pye Weed and Spicebush, Bee Balm, Milkweed and New England Aster.

Reading this book is like having a wise and non-judgmental master gardener take you under her wing. Sally Roth's passion for the natural world shines from every page. She touches on a wide range of topics, such as: laying out a path; building a bluebird nest box; starting a meadow garden; planting a flowering fence; avoiding the "Elvis look"; monthly calendar for meadow care ; creating a streambed; how to saw through a limb; starting plants from seed; -- all techniques are clearly described and easily understood. There are charts such as "Best Shrubs for Woodland Gardens" and "Best Trees for Songbirds." The book is beautifully laid out, and the color pictures are pure inspiration, especially during the blizzardy days of winter.

The negative comments from the previous reviewer seem overly severe and curmudgeonly. I haven't spotted an invasive species in the suggested plants lists yet, though the author does suggest some cultivated hybrids that I don't choose to use. Of course, there are many more technical, rigorous tomes out there that can and should be added to one's gardening library, (and a hard slog of a read they may be, too!)

I highly recommend this book as a general introduction to natural gardening, one that will inspire curiosity, guide discovery, generate ideas and projects, and make the adventure loads of fun.
37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars too muddled to be useful or recommended Oct. 25 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I speak on the subject of natural landscaping frequently - I've been doing this for years.
I always search out useful references so audiences can go home and apply what we've discussed. I would not recommend this book. This book muddles the concept of "natural" and "native" to the point that an inexperienced gardener is likely to plant invasive, non-native plants and never realize they have created a disaster where they hoped to create environemental harmony in their yard. Awhile after the fact they may realize what has happened - I speak to disappointed homeowners often.
Diekelman's book of the same title is much better, especially for folks in the Midwest.
It is somewhat techincial, so may be a little dense for beginners, but at least it won't cause mistakes, disappointment and regret.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas March 26 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book offers some basic ideas in landscpaing your property in order to maintain a natural look. It offers beautiful uses for wet areas instead of trying to correct it.
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