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The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

By Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy

Two giants of the natural gardening world, Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy, have collaborated on their best work yet.

The New York Times

A home garden is often seen as separate from the natural world surrounding it. In truth, it is actually just one part of a larger landscape made up of many living layers. And the replacement of the rich layers of native flora with turf grass greatly diminishes a garden's biological diversity and ecological function.

The Living Landscape seeks to reverse this trend by showing gardeners how to create a landscape that is full of life. Written by Rick Darke and Douglas W. Tallamy, two of the most important voices in sustainability and horticulture, it is the definitive guide to designing a beautiful, biodiverse home garden. The authors first explain each layer of the landscape and what role the plants within them play in the larger environment, from providing berries for birds, food for bugs, or a place for bees to pollinate. The authors then put this information into context and offer design strategies to implement into a home garden. Helpful charts offer suggested plants, including natives and nonnatives, for each region.

Douglas W. Tallamy's award-winning Bringing Nature Home revealed the pressing need for a biodiverse home landscape. In a gorgeously illustrated, inspirational, and practical way, The Living Landscape supports the important message by showing gardeners how to make it happen.

Media reviews

"An inspirational book."

Chicago Tribune

"This thoughtful, intelligent book is all about connectivity, addressing a natural world in which we are the primary influence."

New York Times Book Review

"Offers guidance for creating beautiful landscapes that will be durable and 'support life without sacrificing' aesthetics."

Publishers Weekly

"Your home garden can be a showcase of native and nonnative plants."

Transylvania Times

"Will become the most popular book of the decade."

—Ken Druse, Real Dirt

"Shares insights on beauty and biodiversity, plants and pollinators, and new design strategies for personal gardens both large and small."

Talbot Spy

"Two giants of the natural gardening world, Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy, have collaborated on their best work yet."

—Anne Raver, New York Times

"Essential for gardeners and nature lovers interested in sustainability."

Booklist

"A fascinating and beautiful book on creating gardens for wildlife."

Library Journal

"If you'd like to create a native garden this fall, the new book is a goldmine."

—Joyce H. Newman, Napa Valley Register

"Makes an important contribution to understanding how critical it is for gardeners to think in terms of supporting nature in all seasons."

AllTheDirtOnGardening.com

About the authors

Rick Darke

Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer based in Pennsylvania who blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the creation and conservation of livable landscapes. Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years, and in 1998 he received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society.

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Doug Tallamy

Doug Tallamy is currently professor and chair of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, where he has taught insect taxonomy, behavioral ecology, and other subjects. He won the Silver Medal from the Garden Writer's Association for his book, Bringing Nature Home.

Read more about Doug Tallamy

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