The Nature-Friendly Garden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife, and People, Too

Overview

  • How to maintain environmental balance and attract wildlife
  • Applies to all backyard gardens, large and small with specific information on creating ponds and other water features
  • Accessible gardening tips for seniors and people with disabilities

Many people approach gardening as a constant struggle with the outside world. They're perpetually at war with nature, investing in weed killers and fighting off deer ...

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The Nature-Friendly Garden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Animals, Plants, and People

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Overview

  • How to maintain environmental balance and attract wildlife
  • Applies to all backyard gardens, large and small with specific information on creating ponds and other water features
  • Accessible gardening tips for seniors and people with disabilities

Many people approach gardening as a constant struggle with the outside world. They're perpetually at war with nature, investing in weed killers and fighting off deer and birds, all in an effort to preserve their garden as a pristine patch of earth. Marlene A. Condon proposes a radically different method: What if, instead of battling the natural world, we invite it into our backyards? The result is the nature-friendly garden, which attracts and meets the needs of common creatures--rabbits, toads, insects, squirrels, owls, and so on--while maintaining a thriving, varied landscape of flowers and plants. And as this thought-provoking guide demonstrates, coexisting with nature doesn't mean turning your yard into a bramble-infested wilderness. The sustainable, low-impact garden described in these pages is a model of environmental balance, fostering species diversity while keeping wildlife damage and invasive plant growth at an acceptable minimum. Best of all, it offers a privileged look at the workings of nature, and its advice on observing wildlife is sure to open up a new and fascinating world for even the most experienced gardener.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Condon's gardening philosophy respects the needs of all natural participants in the life of the garden: plants, pests, predators, wildlife-and the gardener. She rebels against the beauty of "those ideal gardens depicted in magazines and books," pointing out that "a completely pristine appearance is impossible to maintain." Her refreshing approach focuses on the virtues of many necessities. For example, that unsightly brush pile that is simply too much work to clear right now can be a haven for numerous species. Similarly, unraked leaves shelter tree frogs, butterfly caterpillars and small animals, and lawns, which involve excessive demands on labor and resources, "have a hugely detrimental impact on your life, other people's lives, and wildlife." Condon is instructive, sometimes didactic and tends to assert opinions, such as her views on mulch (somewhat denigrated) and invasive species (disconcertingly welcomed) as facts. While beginners may benefit from her exhortations, experienced gardeners might find much to disagree with and little that is new or revealing. Regardless of their expertise, most readers will benefit from Condon's realistic acceptance of every gardener's limitations and the joys of engaging with nature on its own terms. Color photos. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The growing market for books on gardening indicates that many people recognize the emotional and health benefits of this popular pastime. Condon (Landscaping for Wildlife) presents an ecofriendly approach to landscaping, addressing ways to encourage insects, animals, birds, and other wildlife to establish homes within any garden area. When we cease fighting with nature (which the author insists is an exhausting and endless endeavor anyway), we can enjoy living in harmony with many creatures and watch the "show" of nature unfolding in our own backyard haven. In fact, if the natural process is allowed to take over-a main tenet of landscape gardening-many problems should solve themselves owing to a more balanced environment. No matter what shape your landscape is presently in, the author introduces ways to make it more nature-friendly, and many of her suggestions are both easy and inexpensive. Although nature-friendly gardening shares some concepts with organic gardening, they are separate subject areas and should be represented as such in the library. Easy to understand and well illustrated, this book would be useful for public libraries in any region, including those in urban areas.-Deborah A. Broocker, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811732611
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Marlene A. Condon is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in numerous publications. She is a field editor for Birds and Blooms magazine and gives regular presentations at Shenandoah National Park. She lives in Crozet, Virginia, where her yard has been showcased on Virginia public television. She can be reached at a MARLENECONDON@aol.com.
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Read an Excerpt

"Just as an archeologist can reassemble pot shards and draw inferences about the civilization that produced it, I've examined a mass of verbal chunks left by Lincoln and people around him. I've sorted jumbled piles of fragments, restored them, and pieced them together in a way that reveals the speakers' world." --Richard Lawrence Miller, from the preface
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2007

    best gardening book i have read

    Marlene Condon's book- The Nature-Friendly Garden, is by far, the best 'gardening' book I have read (I have read a lot!). Her gardening philosophy is completely in touch with the natural world around us, and she explains how and why we should use these natural processes to enhance our gardening pleasure, not fight them. This is the only book of its kind- other wildlife gardening books still make recommendations for 'problems' and 'pests' in your garden, albeit naturally. Marlene Condon teaches us to recognize the value in every natural process that happens in nature, to embrace and respect it, and even use it to our advantage. An excellent book- one of a kind!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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