Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of America's Backyards

Overview

Noah's Garden shows us how the landscape style of neat yards and gardens has devastated suburban ecology. It kills entire communities of plants and animals by stripping bare their habitats and destroying their food supplies. Her book interweaves an account of her efforts to change her methods with an explanation of the ecology of gardens.

America's landscape style of neat yards and gardens has devastated suburban ecology. After a decade of intensive gardening, Stein ...

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Overview

Noah's Garden shows us how the landscape style of neat yards and gardens has devastated suburban ecology. It kills entire communities of plants and animals by stripping bare their habitats and destroying their food supplies. Her book interweaves an account of her efforts to change her methods with an explanation of the ecology of gardens.

America's landscape style of neat yards and gardens has devastated suburban ecology. After a decade of intensive gardening, Stein thought she had created her personal Eden and then realized she had banished animals from her paradise. This book tells of her efforts to build a garden that welcomes all creatures. Line drawings and maps.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Suburban development has wrought habitat destruction on a large scale, notes the author; our tidy lawns and gardens have wiped out numerous plants and animals, including predators that keep pests in check. Science writer Stein ( My Weeds ) calls our attention to the critical role yards play in supporting biodiversity. She describes how she rebuilt her garden in Westchester County, N.Y., using native plants to create pocket woodlands, berried hedgerows and a meadow. Stein gives a fine explanation of the difference between cool-weather lawn grasses and the hot-weather varieties. She disdains the popular ``Meadow-in-a-can,'' reporting that making a real meadow requires approximately three years, and discusses the need to attract the declining frog, toad and turtle populations. This is a valuable book. Illustrations. Author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Stein, who has a garden in Pound Ridge, New York, wrote about her experience in My Weeds: A Gardener's Botany ( LJ 3/1/89). She sadly realized, however, that in creating her garden animals had been banished from her Eden. Thus began her ``reeducation of a gardener'' and the realization that backyards, like rain forests, are an ecosystem. Stein recounts her efforts in planting berry-producing shrubs, learning to live with moles (replace the lawn with a meadow), dealing with insect pests (use resistant varieties of plants), and rejuvenating grass by scheduled burning. Her advice is logical and environmentally sound, but her writing tends to ramble. Line drawings and several appendixes on suggested plants accompany the text. Stein's book aims to refocus the philosophy of backyard gardening and is recommended for public library collections that concentrate on organic and environmental gardening.-- Eva Lautemann, Dekalb Coll. Lib., Clarkston, Ga.
Alice Joyce
Stein recalled the evolution of her six-acre garden in a previous book, "My Weeds". Looking back over earlier decisions on what to clear and where to plant, she has arrived at a disturbing conclusion. By ignoring the interdependence of flora and fauna, the new garden had, in effect, destroyed natural habitats for birds, insects, and animals. Now, calling on home gardeners to accept ecological responsibility, Stein shows how an average suburban yard--with space maintained for family use--may be transformed into balanced areas of woodland, wetland, and meadow of native plantings. Concerned gardeners should find this timely concept will help forge the mentality of a preservationist where one does not exist. Stein's plea to protect the environment could not be better stated than in this beautifully written, copiously researched volume. With appendixes containing recommended plants and suggested reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395653739
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Pages: 256

Meet the Author

Sara Stein is the author of many books, including My Weeds, The Evolution Book, The Science Book, and, of course, Noah's Garden. She lives in Pound Ridge, New York.
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Table of Contents

1 Unbecoming a Gardener 1
2 The Lay of the Land 20
3 What Mrs. Dana Saw 34
4 Fruits in Their Season 52
5 Who Gets to Stay Aboard the Ark? 76
6 The Aphid on the Rose 98
7 Where the Gone Goose Went 120
8 In Respect of Grass 136
9 To Plant a Prairie 154
10 Frogs: In Memoriam 173
11 Smiles of Vanished Woods 191
12 Revisitations 211
13 Home Comes the Bluebird 236
Appendix 257
Index 285
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