As development and subsequent habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. But there is an important and simple step toward reversing this alarming trend: Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity.
There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife — native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction.
Bringing Nature Home has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and the new paperback edition — with an expanded resource section and updated photos — will help broaden the movement. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference.
About the Author
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. His projects include scenic byways, public gardens, corporate and collegiate campuses, mixed-use conservation developments, and residential gardens. Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years and received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. Darke is recognized as one of the world's experts on grasses and their use in public and private landscapes. For further information visit www.rickdarke.com.
Doug Tallamy is a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. He has been awared a silver medal by the Garden Writers’ Association, the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation, and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence. Tallamy is a regular columnist for Garden Design Magazine.
"This book not only shows how important native plants are but also how easy they can be to incorporate into a landscape plan."
— Ann Lovejoy
"An informative and engaging account of the ecological interactions between plants and wildlife, this fascinating handbook explains why exotic plants can hinder and confuse native creatures, from birds and bees to larger fauna."
— Anne Raver
"This book aims to motivate parents and caregivers who are concerned about childrens' lack of connection to the outdoors."
— Anne Raver
"The book evolved out of a set of principles. So the message is loud and clear: gardeners could slow the rate of extinction by planting natives in their yards. This simple revelation about the food web—and it is an intricate web, not a chain—is the driving force in Bringing Nature Home."
— Elizabeth Licata
"A fascinating study of the trees, shrubs, and vines that feed the insects, birds, and other animals in the suburban garden."
— Judy Brinkerhoff
"We all know where resistance to natives, reliance on pesticides, and the cult of the lawn still reign supreme: suburban America. And suburban America is where Doug Tallamy aims the passionate arguments for natives and their accompanying wildlife."
— Sally Cunningham
Bringing Nature Home opens our eyes to an environmental problem of staggering proportions. Fortunately, it also shows us how we can help.
— Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
You can look at this book as a manifesto explaining why we should favor native plants, but it’s much more than that. It’s a plan to sustain the endangered biodiversity and even more, it’s a plan to transform suburbia from an environmental liability to an environmental asset.
This updated and expanded edition … is a delight to read and a most needed resource."
"This book will not only foster a love of the outdoors in all who read it, but also create a deeper understanding and appreciation of the intricate web of wildlife outside your door."
"In an area that is as open and wooded as ours, we may not be aware that there is more to the need for natives than concern about invasive species that upset an ecosystem. According to Tallamy, a balanced ecosystem needs more insects. It is when the balance of the system is disrupted that problems arise."
"Tallamy's book is a call to arms. There is not much ordinary citizens can do to create large new preserves. But we can make better use of the small green spaces we have around our houses. While the situation in the United States is quite serious, Tallamy offers options that anyone with a garden, even a postage-stamp-sized one like mine, can do to help."
"Tallamy makes such a compelling case for the importance of insects to birds that I’ve completely changed the way I garden. From now on, insect attractors are my first choices."
"Tallamy illustrates well how gardeners have contributed greatly to tipping the environment off balance and how they are equally able to turn the trend … Plants and insects are integrally intertwined. Understanding the beauty of these relationships deepens our appreciation of our gardens and the important role we play."
"[It] is the book that is going to change how gardening is conducted over the next century."
"Doug Tallamy's book is a gift. It's not the kind of gift wrapped with a pink ribbon and a tiny rose tucked into the bow. It's the kind of gift that shakes you to your core and sets you on the path of healing. Your garden. Your planet. One plant at a time. Open it."
"This book is not a rant on nature gardening, nor is it a typical garden design book, or a stuffy academic textbook. The author might be a professor … but he has written a book which is readable, scientific, fascinating, and highly digestible."
"This is the 'it' book in certain gardening circles. It's really struck a nerve."
"My book of choice of the year."
He combines the passion which many of us have, with the science, and that’s a winning combination.
“Tallamy explains in beautiful prose the importance of native plants to our wildlife.”