Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded

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Overview

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 ...

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Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Indianapolis Star
"My book of choice of the year."
Plain Dealer
“Tallamy explains in beautiful prose the importance of native plants to our wildlife.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Marianne Binetti
"This book not only shows how important native plants are but also how easy they can be to incorporate into a landscape plan."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Ann Lovejoy
"Buy, borrow, or steal this book! It is essential reading with ideas that need to become part of our understanding of how life works on this planet."

"This book not only shows how important native plants are but also how easy they can be to incorporate into a landscape plan."

USA Today

"This book aims to motivate parents and caregivers who are concerned about childrens' lack of connection to the outdoors."

USA Today - Anne Raver
"This book aims to motivate parents and caregivers who are concerned about childrens' lack of connection to the outdoors."
New York Times - Elizabeth Licata
"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."
Garden Rant - Judy Brinkerhoff
"A fascinating study of the trees, shrubs, and vines that feed the insects, birds, and other animals in the suburban garden."
Petaluma Argus-Courier - Sally Cunningham
"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."
Eco-Libris Blog - Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
Bringing Nature Home opens our eyes to an environmental problem of staggering proportions. Fortunately, it also shows us how we can help.
From the Publisher
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.”

Philadelphia Inquirer
"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."
St. Petersburg Times
"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."
Buffalo News
"This is the 'it' book in certain gardening circles. It's really struck a nerve."
Warwick Beacon
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.
Winston-Salem Journal
"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."
Ants
"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."
The Recorder
"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."
Plant Whatever Brings You Joy Blog
"[It] is the book that is going to change how gardening is conducted over the next century."
Petaluma Argus-Courier

Bringing Nature Home opens our eyes to an environmental problem of staggering proportions. Fortunately, it also shows us how we can help.

— Judy Brinkerhoff

Eco-Libris Blog

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.

Cabin Life
This updated and expanded edition … is a delight to read and a most needed resource."
Birding Business
"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."
Prairie Moon Nursery blog
"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."
Loving Nature's Garden Blog
"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."
Philadelphia Inquirer

"This is the 'it' book in certain gardening circles. It's really struck a nerve."

St. Petersburg Times
"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."
Buffalo News

"My book of choice of the year."

— Sally Cunningham

Warwick Beacon

This updated and expanded edition … is a delight to read and a most needed resource."

Winston-Salem Journal
"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."
Ants
"[It] is the book that is going to change how gardening is conducted over the next century."
The Recorder
"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."
Plant Whatever Brings You Joy Blog
"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."
Cabin Life
"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."
Birding Business
"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."
Prairie Moon Nursery blog

"Buy, borrow, or steal this book! It is essential reading with ideas that need to become part of our understanding of how life works on this planet."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881929928
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Edition description: Expanded
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 77,544
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet 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. Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years, and in 1998 he 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 has studied North American plants in their habitats for over three decades, and his research and lectures have taken him to Africa, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, and northern Europe. His books include The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes (2007), The American Woodland Garden (2002), and In Harmony with Nature (2000).

Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware where he has authored 80 research articles and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect ecology and other courses for 32 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His first book Bringing Nature Home was awarded the 2008 silver medal by the Garden Writer’s Association. Doug was awarded the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd Jr. Award of Excellence in 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 1, 2009

    Everyone should read this book!

    As a landscape professional, I think this is a book to live by. I was educated in traditional horticulture, and slowly began to find that the contrived and sterile landscapes that we are somewhat accustomed to are a detriment to our environment and a resource drain. I found this book to be well written, well researched and fairly easy to read. Mr. Tallamy outlines statistics that are mind boggling. Everyone should read this book, because after reading it you won't look at your backyard, neighborhood, or public spaces the same way again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    A professional with our local Audubon Society recommended this b

    A professional with our local Audubon Society recommended this book to my husband and me. We are building a new home surrounded by wonderful old trees and natural drainage. We wanted to enhance, not harm. This book gives great insight into the factors that lead to harm and the plants that enhance. Just what we needed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    I am so inspired.

    So wonderfully eye opening. Thoughts on how ecosystems work have changed in the past decade and he really shows how it all works together...and How and Why we should help. We are fixing the landscape of our new house and I am thrilled to have read this before going out to buy any trees, shrubs and other plants. Planting the right tree is a small thing that can really help our community!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2010

    The perfect book for our 2010

    Any one who has a yard should read this. Any one who cares about nature should read this too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted July 22, 2010

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    Posted January 28, 2009

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    Posted July 27, 2009

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