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Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded Paperback – April 1, 2009
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“Provides the rationale behind the use of native plants, a concept that has rapidly been gaining momentum...The text makes a case for native plants and animals in a compelling and complete fashion.” —The Washington Post
“This is the ‘it’ book in certain gardening circles. It’s really struck a nerve.” —Virginia A. Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer
“Reading this book will give you a new appreciation of the natural world—and how much wild creatures need gardens that mimic the disappearing wild.” —The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A compelling argument for the use of native plants in gardens and landscapes.” —Landscape Architecture
“An essential guide for anyone interested in increasing biodiversity in the garden.” —American Gardener
“I want to mention how excited I am about reading Bringing Nature Home...I like the writing—enthusiastic and down-to-earth, as it should be.” —Elizabeth Licata, Garden Rant
“An informative and engaging account of the ecological interactions between plants and wildlife, this fascinating handbook explains why exotic plants can hinder and confuse native creatures, from birds and bees to larger fauna.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Tallamy explains eloquently how native plant species depend on native wildlife.” —San Luis Obispo Tribune
“will persuade all of us to take a look at what is in our own yards with an eye to how we, too, can make a difference. It has already changed me.” —Traverse City Record-Eagle
“delivers an important message for all gardeners: Choosing native plants fortifies birds and other wildlife and protects them from extinction.” —WildBird Magazine
"Buy, borrow, or steal this book! It is essential reading with ideas that need to become part of our understanding of how life works on this planet."
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm a gardener, and I don't want to grow only native plants. But this book makes me stop and think. Douglas Tallamy makes the best case for use of native plants I've read. I recommend it without reservation.
Simply put, the book's message is this. All life on earth, except for some recently discovered, relatively rare forms that take energy from volcanic vents in the ocean floor, depend on energy from the sun that plants convert into food through photosynthesis. Most of that solar energy is made available to higher life forms through insects that eat plants. With the exception of a few direct herbivores such as cows, all other higher forms of life either eat insects (most birds) or eat other animals that eat insects (hawks eating sparrows), and so on up the food chain. The productivity of an environment, literally the weight of biomass produced in a given area, is directly related to the insect population, and the variety of wildlife - number of species of birds and so on - is also directly related to the numbers and varieties of insects living there.
Research now clearly shows that native insect populations cannot be sustained by most alien plants. Our insects have co-evolved with native plants over millions of years, and most have highly specific preferences for certain plants as food. As Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, Tallamy has access to research that tells a disturbing story.Read more ›
Tallamy does not leave us hanging with just a lot of bad news. To the contrary, he offers a plan for initiating a recovery in which the suburban gardener plays the central role. He celebrates the role each suburban gardener can have in restoring the habitat of native plant and animal ecosystems right in each gardener's own yard. He gave me a real excitement about creating and observing a wondrous, healthy biodiversity just outside my backdoor, a diversity much more interesting than I could ever achieve with alien plants. His hope is that this excitement could become widespread among gardeners such that suburbia and nature could reconcile.Read more ›
When he grew up, the boy who had tried to rescue toads studied the natural world, ultimately becoming Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. In the process, he discovered the extent of loss resulting from wide scale development and agricultural activities. And that is the subject of his book. But Bringing Nature Home is not another gloom and doom tome on what we humans have wrought. Instead, this engaging and highly readable book tells us how we can all be involved in turning back environmental loss in a way that will bring that wild world right into our own back yards by simply trading non-native ornamental plantings for native ones.
Bringing Nature Home is very well documented (with a bibliography longer than your arm) and full of beautiful and fascinating photos. It includes many of Tallamy's own personal landscaping experiences as well as numerous suggestions on plant choices for the rest of us.
Like Ted Williams in Wild Moments and Scott Weidensaul in Return to Wild America, Tallamy remains optimistic about the future of America's wildlife. But unlike Williams and Weidensaul, both of whom wrote eloquently about why we should connect with and want to save our natural world, the good professor's book is a prescription on how we can all work to make that happen.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The message this book carries is both enlightening and sobering. The first 100 pages details how over 5000 non-native species and their damaging pests have been imported by... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book, very thought provoking and important info. Have recommended it to about 20-30 other fellow native plant gardeners!Published 26 days ago by Diane Moxley
Beautifully written in an easy-to-understand style, Doug Tallamy makes the case for an at-home solution to some of the wildlife crisis. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Anne W.
Excellent book. This should be a must-read for every homeowner who mows a lawn and plants trees, shrubs and flowers.Published 1 month ago by Ron Harris