I read and re-read Douglas Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home: How you can sustain wildlife with native plants” the updated and expanded version. This book covers the importance of native plants in the ecosystem and how they are foundational for sustaining our wildlife populations in natural areas and the ever spreading suburbia. Doug covers everything from “what is a native plant” to giving us practical advice on how to re-incorporate native plants into your property’s landscape.
I really enjoyed this book. I have to admit that when I picked it up I was expecting it to be very “text book like”. I was pleased to find writing style conversational, factual, and funny!
One of the things I really value about this book is the real-life connections explained between native plants, insects, and the wide range of species that rely on those insects. The food web is a complex and mysterious (to us humans) collection of interdependent relationships, this book helps us to understand it a little bit more and instills in us the importance of transforming our sterile suburban areas into working, productive gardens.
Something else that I appreciate in this book is the section on “Blending In With The Neighbors”, where Doug points out an important caveat, “the neighbors” may not have the knowledge or appreciation for the native plants you add to your garden. He points out that good communication with “the neighbors” is key, respectfully sharing knowledge doesn’t hurt, and that native plantings do not have to be messy looking! They can be as landscaped as you like, as long as you are adding native diversity to your gardens you are providing the resources necessary to have a positive impact on our wildlife.
Granted I do realize that myself being a pro-native plant/whole ecosystem functionality advocate reading this book is “preaching to the choir”. However, I can also say that I did not already know much of the information presented in this book, and the things I had already heard about were so well explained that I was able to see them in a more complete light. This book helped to seal my pursuit of becoming more of a native plant advocate on my own part. I firmly believe that the more we know about something, the more we feel empowered to take action to help!
I highly suggest you read it, I think you will want to share it with others too!