Recommended Books

Every gardener needs a good book collection, both as a source of ideas and a cure for winter boredom!

If you're interested in making your yard more sustainable and liveable, take some time to read about the subject.  These following books are excellent for learning about sustainable landscaping and making your yard more wildlife-friendly.

In recent years, the focus in gardening and landscaping has trended towards improving the environment through planting design and species selection.  These books do the best job of explaining the philosophy and giving practical advice for making your yard more sustainable.

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

Written by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy

Image property of Amazon.comThe Living Landscape is a collaborative work from authors Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy.  This book really helps to make the case for designing a landscape with conservation in mind - General principles of sustainability are put in easy-to-digest terms that anyone can understand, making this book eye-opening for both avid gardeners and average homeowners.

The Living Landscape helps to explain how a landscape or garden can be both aesthetically and visually appealing, yet provide adequate habitat for the fragile ecosystems that surround us.  This book is very eye-opening, and is a must-read for all gardeners, whether they are native plant purists or average gardeners.

The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest

Written by Rick Darke

The American Woodland Garden - Photo from Amazon

This book is an earlier production from Rick Darke, a renown landscape architect from the Philadelphia area.  While more of a design philosophy book than a basic gardening book, there are a lot of eye-opening and useful tips that help the gardener distill the natural patterns from the deciduous forests into abstracts that can be replicated in the garden.

For the Eastern Deciduous Forest aficionado, this book is very interesting.  Darke teaches the reader to observe the patterns that exist in the deciduous forest, from the alternating play of sunlight, to the seasonal distinctions that make the American Woods what they are.

This book teaches the reader to change from the mindset of a "garden" as being defined as a static, designed planting, rather to understand it as a dynamic, evolving system that changes through the season with minimal intervention from the gardener.

Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines: A Guide to Using, Growing, and Propagating North American Woody Plants

Written by William Cullina

Native Trees, Shrubs & Vines

This book could possibly be regarded as the book that started it all.  I always was interested in growing native trees and plants, but this book has excellent details recorded on propagation and cultivation of these trees.

William Cullina was the propagator at the New England Wildflower Society's nursery when he wrote this book, and he details his observations on propagating many different species of native plants.

Wildflowers: A Guide to Growing and Propagating Native Flowers of North America (The New England Wild Flower Society)

Written by William Cullina