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The New American Landscape: Leading Voices on the Future of Sustainable Gardening

Edited by Thomas Christopher

A radical revamp of how we approach yard care.

Chicago Tribune

Why sustainable gardening? Home gardeners are the stewards of thousands of square miles of valuable topsoil, oxygen-enriching plant life, and habitat for wildlife. Gardens provide not only healthy local food and natural beauty; they cool the earth and absorb carbon dioxide.

But whether a garden ultimately helps or hurts the planet depends on the gardener. Choose the wrong plants, spread tons of synthetic chemicals onto lawns, or waste precious water on a careless landscape design, and your garden can do more harm than good. The authors of The New American Landscape have studied key garden techniques and practices to give homeowners a roadmap to a garden in harmony with nature — and human nature.

The New American Landscape is finally within reach — grab this book and design your future. Fourteen voices and hundreds of ideas from the leading thinkers in sustainable gardening, including:

  • John Greenlee and Neil Diboll on meadows and "no-mow" lawns
  • Rick Darke on balancing natives and exotics in the garden
  • Doug Tallamy on gardening for wildlife
  • Eric Toensmeier on the sustainable edible garden
  • David Wolfe on gardening for climate change
  • Elaine Ingham on managing soil health
  • David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth on pest and disease solutions
  • Ed Snodgrass and Linda McIntyre on green roofs
  • Thomas Christopher on water conservation
  • Toby Hemenway on whole system garden design

Media reviews

"It may sound strange, but after reading this book, this reviewer felt that it seemed overdue. ... An interesting blend of academics, prominent landscape horticulturalists, nursery workers, and designers ... lead readers through a diverse discussion of how sustainability can enter and improve gardens. Recommended."


"A radical revamp of how we approach yard care."

—Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune

"Both passionate gardeners and those interested in the environment will find [this book] an invaluable resource for better understanding today's hottest topics in sustainable landscape practices."

Pacific Horticulture

"Some of the most balanced and thorough writing about sustainability issues in the landscape that I've seen."


"For anyone, from newbies to experts. ... There's much to learn in The New American Landscape."

Kirkus Reviews

"A good choice for gardeners with a wide range of experience — new growers and veterans alike will be able to learn something."

—Margaret Heller, Library Journal

"This how-to guide clearly demonstrates how gardeners' sustainable practices can positively shape our shared environment."

The Dirt (ASLA)

"It's an impressive range of talent, and the subjects they write about affect gardeners everywhere."

Kate Campbell's Word Garden

"Practical, clearly organized, and well-illustrated, this will be a great resource for gardeners of all levels of expertise."

Reference and Research Book News

About the author

Thomas Christopher

Thomas Christopher, a graduate of the New York Botanical Garden School of Professional Horticulture, has created gardens for clients for forty years. He is the author of many books, including Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden.

Read more about Thomas Christopher

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