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Native Plants of the Northeast: A Guide for Gardening and Conservation Hardcover – Illustrated, February 1, 2005
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The Northeast of the title refers to the northeastern quarter of the U.S and all of eastern Canada. Leopold lists nearly 700 species of native trees, shrubs, vines, ferns, grasses, and wildflowers. Illustrated with 500 color photographs, his guide provides detailed information on each plant's cultivation and propagation, height, color, natural range, and hardiness. An appendix recommends particular plants that tolerate wet and dry soil and attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and mammals such as deer, opossums, and raccoons. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“An encyclopedia of experience.” —The Washington Post
“Provides an invaluable resource for using natives in the landscape and restoration projects.” —American Gardener
“The text is easy to read, both regarding the printing and the writing. . . . This is a very good, well written book and well worth the price.” —Washington Gardener
“A welcome addition to my growing collection of books that list plants. . . . Generously illustrated. . . . Forthright, warts-and-all descriptions are common throughout.” —Garden Rant
“Essential for anyone interested in gardening with native plants as well as those who need horticultural information for habitat restoration.” —Plant Talk
“This is a wonderful book that anyone interested in improving backyards, gardens, and other small stopover areas with native vegitation will want to have handy as an essential reference.” —International Hawkwatcher
“The descriptions include pithy recommendations on cultivation, especially with regard to appropriate habitats.” —HortIdeas
“The color photographs (and there are lots of them) are by the author and very well done.” —Home Monthly
“This book will interest readers who, regardless of their educational background, wish to learn about using native plants for gardening.” —Choice
“It is a must-have for any gardener wishing to learn more about indigenous plants and interested in preserving the balance of native plants on their property.” —Bangor Daily News
“In addition to the alphabetical categorical listing, appendices list plants grouped according to cultural requirements, giving you a jump start on planning a garden for your particular soil requirements.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
Top customer reviews
I love how the book is organized - by type of plant (fern, grass, shrub, tree, vine, etc), then by latin name. There's a comprehensive index if you don't know the latin name. Also incredibly useful is the set of lists in the back - plants that tolerate wet soil, plants for dry soil, plants that tolerate shade, plants for butterflies and hummingbirds, plants with fruits for birds, plants with fruits for mammals - all organized by the light tolerance of the plant and plant type. Also useful was the introduction, which describes the different kinds of plant communities.
There are more detailed reference books out there, but as far as a good reference for the ordinary gardener, with COLOR pictures, this is the best!
Way more than a "seed catalog", this book tells you what ecological niche the plant is native to, the conditions of sun, moisture, and soil it needs, how to propagate seeds, and a paragraph of "notes" with interesting personal observations by the author. There is also a lengthy and fascinating introductory chapter describing some of the many types of plant environments that exist in the NE, and the reasons to go native.
I own 10 books on trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, gardening for birds, and general gardening, but am buying this one because it tells me exactly what I need to know about all of the above, using plants that grew in the Northeast before Euopeans arrived.
Nearly every plant description is paired with a full color photo of the plant in it's natural state.
Although this book is primarily designed for the Northeast, it also good for the Southeast and parts of the Midwest.
I would only make one suggestion to the author if he gets the chance to do a reprint; please include a section on the nuisance plants - poison ivy, poison sumac, stinging nettle, and the like. They may not be of use to many, but there are many of us that would like to find out more about them.