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Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East Paperback – April 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East is the most complete publication on the practical challenges associated with native plant gardening and fills this need very well for eastern gardeners. What Carolyn Summers tells us about indigenous plants and wildlife is critical to our sustainable future."
(Douglas Tallamy author of Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants)

"This book is a must-have for anyone interested in the natural history of eastern native plants and their use in gardens. The author combines thorough research with a clear, thoughtful viewpoint gleaned from her own personal experience. Very well written, it is an enjoyable read as well as a valuable tool for garden designers."
(Darrin Duling director, the Native Plant Center)

"Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East is a long overdue, in-depth look at the paucity of indigenous American plants in gardens in the United States, and the importance of correcting this situation. It is an explicit guidebook for garden professionals to enable them to help sustain our wild floral heritage rather than allowing its not-so-slow destruction."
(Ruth Rogers Clausen Co-author of Perennials for American Gardens 2009-10-07)

"Beautifully-illustrated, Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East approaches landscape design from an ecological perspective, encouraging professional designers and backyard enthusiasts alike to intensify their use of indigenous or native plants. Emphasizing the importance of indigenous plant gardening and landscape design, Summers provides guidelines for beginning gardeners as well as experienced designers."
(New York Flora Association Newsletter 2010-04-01)

"Chock full of interesting facts and figures, Summers approaches design through the lens of ecology making the book unique in its approach and very relevant to anyone creating native gardens for a living."
(Ecological Landscaping Association Newsletter 2011-01-15)

About the Author

CAROLYN SUMMERS is an adjunct professor for continuing education at Westchester Community College and provides technical assistance to the Native Plant Center, an affiliate of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813547075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813547077
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book. If you are a dedicated gardener and you know some basics about native flora and fauna, and enjoy gardening design, this book will appeal to you. The author gives alternatives that will foster native birds and wildlife and thrive in the Northeast. I have been drawn to so many pictures in catalogues and many of the offerings have survived in my zone 6 Rhode Island landscape, yet if I had known that there were native, more eco friendly alternatives that produce the same look, I would have chosen those plants, instead. When you read this book it makes you realize how we backyard gardeners are sometimes harming wildlife, birds and the environment by introducing invasive, nonindigenous plants. Interesting reading.
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Format: Paperback
Most wildlife gardeners know that in order to have wildlife in our gardens, we must have native plants. In fact, there is a direct correlation between how many locally native plants you have in your garden and the numbers of wildlife who will call your garden home.

But What if the garden style that appeals to you is not the natural looking wildlife garden? Do you have to choose wildlife over design or vice versa?

Say, for instance, that what really appeals to your sense of beauty is a formal garden, or a cottage garden, or a knot garden, or even a Japanese-style garden.

Do you think that those kinds of gardens are out of your reach if you want to support wildlife in your garden?

Guess again!

Carolyn Summers' new book, Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East shows you in great detail how to have the garden of your dreams while still using native (or indigenous) plants.

Her chapter on "Safe Sex in the Garden" is witty and full of great information to prevent "the bad guys," those plants that we don't want spreading rampantly through our natural areas, from reproducing.

You'll see native, or indigenous, plants in a whole new light after reading this book. As a matter of fact, Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East is so good that I am unable to put it down. I just have to keep reading because it's so full of great information.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book! The author describes the importance of using "indigenous" plants vs. native plants and the difference between the two. She expounds on why we need to return our gardens to the natural ecosystem of the area and how to design them with the habitat necessary for insects, birds and other wildlife to thrive. She makes a convincing argument for removing non-indigenous plants such as pennisetum, miscanthus, vinca and buddleia including a chapter on substitutes for these plants. Who knew that no insect uses the buddleia for a host plant?

She has a chapter on different types of designs using Northeast plants including Japanese gardens, perennial borders, cottage and woodland gardens and more. Plus there is a chapter on where to buy indigenous plants. This book is great reading and a wonderful reference book. We removed all non-native grasses, ground covers, and 8 buddleias from our property and hired a tree company to begin removing English Ivy. Now we have lots more room for the wonderful plants she suggests. A must read for native gardeners.
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Format: Paperback
Why should we make an effort cultivate native/indigenous plants? Carolyn Summers explains how the animal and plant worlds are intimately related and reliant upon each other in ways most of us have never realized. Her book contains eloquent, easy-to-understand suggestions for gardening with native plants, and is an important resource and a must-have book for all native plant gardeners.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is everything other reviewers have already expressed. It is a great proponent of indigenous plants. Everyone who gardens in the northeast should have a copy!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is easy to read and is not just another native plant book. It does an excellent job of relating native plants to the design profession and gives great native substitutions for traditional design schematics, something often lacking in most native plant resources. I've been in the industry for 10 years and I even learned some new plants!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful and very informative little book. Easy to read and to follow the sugestions to create a natural garden. I recomend it to both pros and novice gardeners, however I wish it had more information on native plants.
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