Book Roundup Wednesday: Books About Sustainable Gardening
A Weed by Any Other Name: The Virtues of a Messy Lawn, or Learning to Love the Plants We Don’t Plant (by Nancy Gift, $24, Beacon Press, 2009): This season-by-season guide advocates a new strategy for dealing with weeds in your yard: don’t. The author introduces the plants that pop up in your garden uninvited and offers an opportunity to embrace, instead of exterminate, the plant diversity of your yard.
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide (by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin, $20, Storey Publishing, 2008): Gardeners just starting their first kitchen compost bin and compost experts alike will find everything they want to know about “the gardener’s gold” in this extensive illustrated manual.
Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded (by Douglas W. Tallamy, $18, Timber Press, May 2009): Native insect and animal species depend upon native plants to support them, but the growth of suburbia has been many native plants’ demise. This beautifully photographed guide instructs homeowners on how to halt extinctions by choosing to plant native species in their backyards.
Down to Earth: Practical Thoughts for Passionate Gardeners (by Margot Rochester, $23, Taylor Trade Publishing, January 2009): Both a manual and a celebration of gardening, this collection of short columns will inspire even the most intimidated of beginner gardeners. The author encourages readers to do everything from preparing soil to propagating plants with joy and to leave the calculations—and the chemicals—out of the hobby.
--Sarah F. Kessler