The Natural Habitat Garden

Overview

Through 500 color photographs, The Natural Habitat Garden introduces readers to 35 gardens that re-create the naturally balanced plant communities found in each of the four main botanical habitats. Druse helps to define a new horticultural aesthetic while showing gardeners everywhere how they can recreate the natural havens for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife that once made America beautiful. Full-color photographs.

The award-winning author of The Natural ...

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1994-03-15 Hardcover New New. Mint cover, tight binding, clean text.

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Overview

Through 500 color photographs, The Natural Habitat Garden introduces readers to 35 gardens that re-create the naturally balanced plant communities found in each of the four main botanical habitats. Druse helps to define a new horticultural aesthetic while showing gardeners everywhere how they can recreate the natural havens for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife that once made America beautiful. Full-color photographs.

The award-winning author of The Natural Garden introduces readers to 35 gardens--from a cactus-filled one in Arizona to a little prairie on a rooftop--that recreate the naturally balanced plant communities found in each of the four main botanical habitats: grasslands, wetlands, drylands, and woodlands. 500 full-color photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Druse ( The Natural Shade Garden ) and Roach, the gardening editor for Newsday , survey gardens all over the United States that focus on native plants; together, they ``traveled around the country, seeking instruction not just from nature's aesthetic side, but from the actual workings of the nation's dwindling reserve of wild places.'' The result, endowed with the scrupulously detailed and decidedly deep tones of Druse's photographs, introduces--and urges--appealing ideas into American gardens. There is, for example, the prairie simplicity of Dick and Marsha Krueger's garden in Wisconsin, where a conventional lawn gave way, in part, to wildflowers. By contrast, a visit to the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Wash., reveals ``grandeur in decay''--the abandon of spreading moss on emergent tree roots, and deer fern bulging up from shady spots. The authors also scope out desert gardens in Arizona; New England landscapes backed by familiar maples; and wildlife that tends to thrive with renewed vigor when a garden goes native again. Also included are planting advisories and practical information, such as a source guide and suggested reading list. (Apr.)
Martha Stewart Living
"Recommended reading."

Martha Stewart Living

National Gardener
"This one book, used alone, provides a wealth of ideas and information to develop your own natural habitat garden."

—Joanne S. Carpender, National Gardener, March 2005

The Washington Post
"Makes a compelling argument for designing gardens that will bring back birds, bees, butterflies, frogs, turtles and hosts of mammals and other organisms, one yard at a time."

—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post, July 4, 2004

From the Publisher

"Recommended reading."

Martha Stewart Living

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517589892
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/15/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 8.85 (w) x 11.33 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Ken Druse is an internationally recognized author, award-winning photographer, and acknowledged founder of the natural gardening movement. He gardens in Brooklyn, New York, and rural New Jersey.
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Read an Excerpt


There is no landscape plant more popular than turfgrass — lawn — despite all we now know about its wasteful, polluting habits. And we are as hooked on it as it is on water and chemicals. Without a lawn, the common lament goes, how do you make a landscape — and how do you make a lawn without mowable exotic grasses that guzzle resources?

Joe and Carolyn Osborn of Austin, Texas, are among a new breed of Americans who are having it both ways: They have their traditional-looking lawn, but it is made up of native grasses that demand less water, fertilizer, and mowing — lawns that fit the profile of a natural habitat garden. Landscape architect Steve Domigan developed the plan for their yard, and Environmental Survey Consulting installed large-scale local rock to further enhance the natural character of the design.

The Osborns' lawn is buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides), a native plant whose range extends throughout the Great Plains states — roughly the middle third of the country and extending north to Canada and south into Mexico. It grows in alkaline, heavy clay, and other conditions.

The Osborns' buffalo grass lawn was installed as sod, which must be cut very thick to accomodate enough of the root system, making this an expensive but nearly instant method of coverage. Buffalo grass can also be installed as plugs, spaced about eight inches apart, or seeded. However, some of the best varieties are not available as seed since they are vegetatively propagated to ensure consistency, such as all-female strains that create a denser apperance.

Now established, their buffalo grass is fertilized half the recommended amount in fall with an all-natural organic formula, and watered only as much as needed to keep it green (a twenty-minute soak two or three times a summer). If left unwatered, it will not die but will brown down to a dormant state. Although the Osborns still prefer to mow once or twice a season to keep the grass about six inches high, it can be left to grow to a somewhat shaggy foot and a half.

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