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Books & Authors

Sustainable Yards


Now is the time of year the ecologically minded remind us that it is healthy for our yards to mulch your leaves and let them break down into the soil. If those kinds of pointers interest you, take a look at some of these books.

Lawn gone! low maintenance, sustainable, attractive alternatives for your yard by Pam Penick
Homeowners spend billions of hours--and dollars--watering, mowing, and maintaining their lawns. You don't have to be one of them. Free yourself with Lawn Gone!, a colorful, accessible guide to the basics of replacing a traditional lawn with a wide variety of easy-care, no-mow, low-water, money-saving options. It includes: * alternative grasses that seldom (or never) need mowing * drought-tolerant, eco-friendly landscapes * regional plant recommendations for all parts of the country * artificial turf that looks like the real thing * step-by-step lawn-removal methods * strategies for dealing with neighbors and HOAs * ways to minimize your lawn if you're not ready to go all the way Whether you're a beginner or expert gardener, green thumb or black, Lawn Gone! provides realistic choices, achievable plans, and simple instructions for renovating your yard from start to finish.

Lawns into meadows : Growing a regenerative landscape by Owen Wormser
In Lawns Into Meadows, landscape designer Owen Wormser makes a case for the power and generosity of meadows. In a world where lawns have wreaked havoc on our natural ecosystems, meadows offer a compelling solution. They establish wildlife and pollinator habitats. They're low-maintenance and low-cost. They have a built-in resilience that helps them weather climate extremes, and they can draw down and store far more carbon dioxide than any manicured lawn. They're also beautiful, all year round. Owen describes how to plant an organic meadow that's right for your site, whether it's a yard, community garden, or tired city lot. He shares advice on preparing your plot, coming up with the right design, and planting--all without using synthetic chemicals. He passes along tips on building support in neighborhoods where a tidy lawn is the standard. Owen also profiles twenty-one starter grasses and flowers for beginning meadow-makers, and offers guidance on how to grow each one. To illuminate the many joys of meadow-building, Owen draws on his own stories, including how growing up off the grid in northern Maine, with no electricity or plumbing, prepared him for his work. The book, part how-to guide and part memoir, is for environmentalists and climate activists, gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Lawns Into Meadows is part of Stone Pier Press's Citizen Gardening series, which teaches readers how to grow food and garden in ways that are good for the planet.

Planting in a post-wild world : designing plant communities for resilient landscapes by Thomas Rainer
Over time, with industrialization and urban sprawl, we have driven nature out of our neighborhoods and cities. But we can invite it back by designing landscapes that look and function more like they do in the wild: robust, diverse, and visually harmonious. Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West is an inspiring call to action dedicated to the idea of a new nature--a hybrid of both the wild and the cultivated--that can ?ourish in our cities and suburbs. This is both a post-wild manifesto and practical guide that describes how to incorporate and layer plants into plant communities to create an environment that is re?ective of natural systems and thrives within our built world.

Rain Gardens : Sustainable landscaping for a beautiful yard and a healthy world by Lynn M. Steiner
Rain gardens are at the forefront of the green revolution. They allow rainwater to follow the natural course of the water cycle. Rainwater is absorbed into the ground, taken up by plants, and evaporated back into the atmosphere. This environmentally friendly landscaping captures rainwater runoff rather than redirecting it into storm drains. The result is less erosion, less water pollution, and a beautiful, low-maintenance, sustainable garden, and they can help keep the basement dry. This is a rain garden handbook for the backyard home gardener. The authors draw on hands-on experience to help homeowners build beautiful rain gardens in their own yards. Illustrated with color photography, this instructive book offers specific advice about planning, building, planting, and maintaining the rain garden. Learn about city grants, how to calculate runoff, rain barrels, attracting wildlife, gray water recycling, and much more.

The living landscape : designing for beauty and biodiversity in the home garden by Rick Darke
By combining the insights of two outstanding authors, it offers a model that anyone can follow. Inspired by examples, you'll learn the strategies for making and maintaining a diverse, layered landscape - one that offers beauty on many levels, provides outdoor rooms and turf areas for children and pets, incorporates fragrance and edible plants, and provides cover, shelter, and sustenance for wildlife. The Living Landscape is your roadmap to a richer, more satisfying garden.

Tomorrow's garden : design and inspiration for a new age of sustainable gardening by Stephen Orr
With a keen eye for aesthetics matched by a strong concern for the environment, garden expert Stephen Orr has developed a sense of what a modern garden should be- small, visually pleasing, and responsible. In Tomorrow's Garden, he presents gardens in 14 American cities that have been scaled back and simplified without sacrificing beauty or innovative design. A devoted supporter of the organic gardening movement, Orr advises gardeners to think about their gardens as part of an interconnected whole with the surrounding environment-with an eye to water usage, local ecology, and preservation of resources. However, for those who are afraid that a sustainable garden means a lack of flora and fauna, Orr believes that a garden, first and foremost, should be a thing of beauty. He encourages flower lovers to plant flowers, and he showcases gardens filled with traditional and exotic plants that are designed with both visual appeal and the environment in mind. With detailed case studies, stunning photographs, and an appendix of resources and information to help gardeners achieve their ecological best, Tomorrow's Garden will teach you the true definition of sustainability and show you how to create beauty without excess in the 21st century and beyond.


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