Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, by Dr. Douglas Tallamy – This book is fantastic. Dr. Tallamy elucidates on the benefits of native plantings for local ecosystems. His writing is clear and engaging, his photos are full of fascinating fauna, and you’ll come away knowing so much more than you did before. This is a major treatise in the case for rewilding backyards.
Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards, by Sara Stein – This is not a how-to book, but it’s an important look on devastation caused by the traditional nonnative garden, and the benefits to “ungarden” and create a wildlife-friendly landscape. Published in 1993, it remains relevant to today.
Garden Revolution: How Our Landscape Can Be a Source of Environmental Change, by Larry Weaner – This is my favorite how-to book. Weaner creates phenomenal gardens utilizing ecological layers and native plant communities. You can learn to cultivate vital, lush, brilliant gardens that evolve over time.
The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, by Rick Darke and Dr. Douglas Tallamy – This is another how-to, and a practical follow-up to Bring Nature Home. More rich photographs portraying vibrant gardens within woodlands and across grasslands. I love leafing through this book and picking out my favorite wildflowers and grasses, learning how plant communities can work together for seasonal interest.
How can I attract a certain butterfly/wasp/moth, etc.?
Everyone loves monarchs, right? You can create a monarch waystation, and you’ll undoubtedly attract a variety of pollinators! However, what if you’re looking for someone in particular, such as a spicebush swallowtail? Or a spring azure? Or, nonagressive sand wasps who like to kill pests? The books below can help you plant the things that may attract your special someone.
100 plants to Feed the Bees: Provide a Healthy Habitat to Help Pollinators Thrive, by The Xerces Society
Gardening for Butterflies, by The Xerces Society
Gardening for the Birds: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard, by George Adams
WTH Am I Looking At?
No doubt you will want to be able to identify some of the wildlife that shows up in your yard. Here are some of my favorite i.d. books.
Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs, by Whitney Cranshaw
The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North American Bees, by Joseph S. Wilson and Olivia J. Messinger Carril
Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History, by David L. Wagner
Birds of Eastern North America: A Photographic Guide, by Paul Sterry and Brian E. Small
Don’t forget to bring your listening ears:
Podcasts are great! Here’s a couple I love to listen to!