Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens
By Douglas W. Tallamy, Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware
Bringing Nature Home is an informative and vitally needed book. It is a well-written, science-based work that gives you the facts about why biodiversity is essential and how a lack of diversity is harming the environment. In clear and interesting language, Mr. Tallamy explores specific problems created by loss of habitat and using alien plants. One of the best things about this book is that it explains not only why, but also how to change your landscape. The chapter titled “What should I plant” has information that is limited to woody ornamentals and focuses on supporting moths and butterflies, but gives an overview of how to evaluate what plants are most useful. Other chapters, such as the one on creating balanced communities and another on gardening for insect diversity, give a good foundation for choosing plants that should be included in an ecologically friendly landscape. This book was not written for people with huge treed land, but for anyone with a plot of grass and a desire to restore our environment. It was a delight to read and a most needed resource.
Other resources from Doug Tallamy:
Doug Tallamy, A Call for Backyard Diversity, American Forests, (Autumn 2009), 24-31.
Fact Sheet from Bringing Nature Home, Presentation by Doug Tallamy, URI, (Sept. 28, 2013).
What to Plant? from Doug Tallamy’s website.
Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards
By Sara Stein
This was one of the original books to bring an awareness of how damaging to the environment was the sterile nature of the typical suburban landscape. Ms. Stein’s book is a more personal exploration of the ecology problem than Dr. Tallamy’s book. But both the science and philosophy are sound and make for fascinating reading.
Planting Noah’s Garden: Further adventures in Backyard Ecology
By Sara Stein
This is the follow up book to Noah’s Garden. Ms. Stein ventures out and interviews other gardeners to learn how they are restoring the ecology of their yards. Inspiring conversations are mixed with practical information on how to create a balance environment in your own landscape.
Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
by Richard Louv (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2005).
“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”
—A Fourth Grader In San Diego
For Adults and Adults Teaching Children
Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide and Month-by- Month Journey, through the Fields, Woods and Marshes on New England
By Mary Holland
Holland offers a naturalist guide full of captivating images, facts and lore. A wonderful resource for any adult and in particular for adults welcoming young ones to observe and love the natural world.
Fairy Dusters and Blazing Stars: exploring wildflowers with children
By Suzanne M Samson, illustrated by Preston Neel, suitable for children grades 1-3.
This beautifully illustrated children’s book presents literal interpretations of the common names of North American wildflowers. It is a wonderful way to introduce kids to basic plant identification. Both colorful and engaging it also includes a picture glossary of wildflowers with scientific names, flowering time, range and habitat. While not specific to New England wildflowers, there are certainly many NE wildflowers included in the rich and detailed drawings that will excite the imagination of any young reader.
Wildflowers, Blooms and Blossoms
By Diane L Burns, illustrations by Linda Garrow, reading level ages 4-8.
This take along field guide helps children identify different species of wildflowers. Detailed and colorful illustrations describe thirty common species of wildflowers from black-eyed susan to johnny jump up. Each wildflower drawing is accompanied by information on what it looks like, where to find it and what eats it. Included are directions for a variety of nature based craft activities and scrapbook collection ideas. Each page has sidebars with interesting facts and trail etiquette for young naturalists.
Keeping a Nature Journal
By Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth
For nature lovers of all ages This beautifully illustrated field journal guide offers simple techniques to give first time journal keepers the know how and encouragement to go outside, observe the natural world and sketch and write about what they see. There are lots of great tips and techniques for long time journal keepers as well. The 2003 edition contains full color drawing from the authors own nature journals for inspiration. Thoughtful suggested observations make it easy to begin, often the hardest part of nature journaling. It is stressed that the journal should be your personal record of daily experience whether nature’s beauty is found in the city, suburbs, or country.
About the Authors: Clare Walker Leslie is a nationally known wildlife artist, naturalist, and educator. She conducts workshops and classes. She has written six books including Nature Drawing and The Art of Field Sketching. Clare lives in Vermont and Massachusetts. Charles E. Roth is a teacher of science and the environment. He was Director of Education for the Massachusetts Audubon Society for many years. Besides authoring 20 books, Charles has received many awards including the Environmental Merit Award of the EPA. He resides in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.