“Supplies all but the sunshine.” — Eugene Register Guard
“In our own gardens, we can contribute to the health of our planet’s biodiversity by following this book’s lead.” — Bellingham Herald
“A common-sense approach to rewilding.” — Seattle Times | Pacific NW Magazine
With an ecological perspective and an unwavering tenacity, REAL GARDENS GROW NATIVES: DESIGN, PLANT, AND ENJOY A HEALTHY NORTHWEST GARDEN informs, captivates, and compels us to turn our conventional yards into beautiful, functional, and humane landscapes that give back to the diverse community of life that thrived there not long ago. Welcoming wildlife and maintaining a lovely landscape are definitely not mutually exclusive.
Why use native plants? As our growing population continually overwhelms ecosystems and threatens the biosphere, effective biodiversity conservation cannot rely on isolated natural areas alone. One way to improve our relationship with the earth is to allow others their survival necessities, and the most straightforward way to do that is by protecting and restoring natural ecosystems. With thoughtful planning and the use of plants that are indigenous members of the local ecosystem, gardeners can contribute to global sustainability.
Native plants — especially when grown in natural plant communities — are the foundation of the food web. They support drastically more insect biomass than nonnatives, and provide other essentials for the wild creatures who built an evolutionary partnership with them eons ago. When we garden with natives we’re doing crucial conservation work, and doing ourselves a favor as well, because native plants are low maintenance, often drought tolerant, and easily compete with the beauty of exotic plants. Fall in love with some of the most gorgeous plants in the world, right here in the Pacific Northwest!
Books with a regional focus are best at providing the specific information needed for gardening in that region. Published by Mountaineers Books, REAL GARDENS GROW NATIVES leads us along the design path — from conception to implementation — with interesting stops along the way. Within the book are all the tools needed to plan a “real” garden west of the Cascades (or simply add some native species to an existing garden), including:
* Landscape design guidance for various-sized yards, including sample plans
* Ways to enhance habitat and preserve biological diversity
* Tips on nurturing and sustaining healthy soil
* Organic techniques that keep a garden vibrant and lively
* Propagation methods for native plants
* Detailed descriptions and stunning photographs of 100 of the most garden-worthy Pacific NW indigenous plants (plus related species) that help simplify plant choice & arrangement
* And much more!
Take a peek at the book’s Table of Contents.
The book’s author and main photographer, Eileen M. Stark, is an ecological landscape designer, writer, photographer, and naturalist who provides landscape consultations and design services in the Portland metro area. Check out her blog and speaking calendar.
>>> Eileen’s featured in The Humane Gardener (Princeton Architectural Press, 2017) <<<
A portion of net profits is gladly donated to The Xerces Society.