Hardcover: 392 pages
Publisher: Timber Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.2 x 10.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #80,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #43 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Landscape #46 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Region #64 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Garden Design
Living Landscape is an important addition to the works on native gardening. The collaboration between Darke, a knowledgeable plantsman and designer of natural landscapes and Tallamy, an entomologist with a terrific understanding of ecosystems, is an excellent pairing.I trained as a landscape architect and have been frustrated by the gap between conservation theory at the university level and practical applications that could be helpful to the homeowner who desires a healthy landscape.The book takes one past the concept of reducing one's lawn to real examples of space planning and the use of plants to support diversity. Tallamy's first book, "Bringing Nature Home", made the critical link between the survival our native bird population and available insect protein for fledgling birds. Native insects have, of course, co evolved with native plants and primarily, require our native plants to survive. So there is a very important link between the native plants and our native bird populations. He makes the equally important point that homeowners can help bring back diminishing bird populations.The book is thoughtfully structured around design principles and ecological function. Observations of "Layers" in the wild landscape, including topics like the canopy, understory, waters edge and so on, are discussed relative to layers within the home garden. "The Art of Observation" is educational too. Significantly, among other valuable observations, Tallamy points out the importance of interrelationships of organisms, ecological function and ecological benefits for humans as well as wildlife, and the critical role of biological corridors.Yes, the book primarily approaches the larger suburban property, but it's principles are important to consider at any scale.
I heard Douglas Tallamy speak at the Native Plants Conference this Spring, and I've been eagerly awaiting his new book since.As a professional gardener at a top US Japanese garden, as well the writer of a garden blog focused on creating your garden sanctuary, I don't grow only native plants. In fact long ago, I was one of those turned off by the whole native plant movement.I have gradually over the years been turned into a convert. I now fully recognize the value of native plants in the landscape. It was Doug's monumentally important book Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded that solidified my evolving views of how and why I should be pursuing my career and calling.His new book is lives up to his last."The Living Landscape" is more of a continuation of "Bringing Nature Home" than a replacement for it.If his first book made the case for using native plants in the landscape, this book shows you how in a general sense. This is not a "paint by number book" for creating a native landscape, but it is a broad and detailed covering of how and why it can be done. This also is not a dumb down book for the beginning gardener. By the same token, I can't imagine a better first book for someone looking to begin landscaping their home to read.I recommend it without reservation.Doug's coauthor, Rick Darke (author of "
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