Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Living Landscape: Designing for beauty and biodiversity in the home garden by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy

I bought this book at a "New England Grows" plant conference in Boston a year or two ago and just finished reading it. The basic idea is that normal suburban yards can be designed very easily to be better for the ecosystem. Rick Darke's photographs are excellent and the writing is very readable. Besides plants; birds and insects are heavily featured. I don't know how much longer I am going to do these book reports. These are a few of the ideas I got from the book: Alot of deer and you end up with alot of spice bush and ferns which they don't eat so much. In much of our are, when there is a tornado say which causes a bare opening, alot of invasive bushes and vines come in. In Florida where the native cycad, Zamia pumila, was largely harvested in the wild for food, the Atala butterfly disappeared completely and was considered to be extinct. However, it was then used widely in peoples yards and the butterfly returned (it needs that cycad to eat). The more species of caterpillars, the more species of birds. Boxturtles are the main dispersal agent for mayapple seeds. Here are a few maxims I got: Our goal is to reduce the introduction of rapid environmental changes causing extinctions to occur faster than new species can evolve. Ecosystem function increases directly with the number of species. You can use all natives some of the time, some natives all of the time, but not all natives all of the time.

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