From Library Journal
This is a thorough introduction to the biology and ecology of insects commonly found in North American gardens, as well as a guide to the principles of ecologically-sound gardening. Grissell, a research entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, emphasizes that insects, as well as other invertebrates, play key roles in maintaining a garden's ecological balance; furthermore, he advocates that gardens be managed as balanced, biologically diverse "naturalistic" systems, since they are, for the gardener, more enjoyable and easier to maintain. The text is lengthy but engaging, and a very extensive list of additional readings is provided. The accompanying close-up of insects and other creatures and other photographs are beautifully composed and illustrate the text well. A good complement to other natural gardening books, such as Natural Gardening, edited by John K. Boring and others (Time-Life, 1996); highly recommended for all gardening collections. Brian Lym, City Coll. Lib. of San Francisco
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gardeners may love butterflies, but Grissell stresses a far more encompassing point of view--one that welcomes myriad insects into our cultivated spaces. With a captivating blend of humor and candor, this research entomologist describes in detail the insect orders residing in our gardens and their habits. Who would have guessed that female earwigs protect their eggs until they hatch? Next, Grissell looks at ecological aspects of gardening as he puts forth an erudite overview of the balance and interactions between plants and insects. Maintaining a delightfully readable style, Grissell concludes with an engagingly thought-provoking section devoted to relationships between insects and humans. Goodpasture's fine photographs befit Grissell's effervescent treatise; proposing a laissez-faire attitude that promises to have gardeners with an "us and them" mentality (and a dependence upon chemicals to kill insects) finding new ways of thinking about the tiny and essential critters found ambling about on leaves or creeping about the soil. Alice JoyceCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved