Wildlife Miscellany: Trends, Native Plant Books, and Special Thanks to Carole Brown

by Genevieve on January 26, 2012

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A quick wrap-up of some recent posts on wildlife gardening from around the web. . .

You know how I love to read the garden trend reports at the start of each year, and this year I’m seeing a lot of trends that I like. Over at Beautiful Wildlife Gardens, Carole Brown posted a list of the gardening trends she’s hoping will take off this year. The post is filled with links to other articles for more in-depth reading, so head on over and check out her predictions.

Next up, I posted about three of the native plant books I’ve found indispensable in learning more about the plants that give California a sense of regional identity. Our natives go beyond bringing a unique design aesthetic to our gardens, though – they provide breeding spaces and food for wildlife in a way that purely ornamental plants just don’t do. Check out these three book picks and learn more about how to design with California’s diverse array of plants.

On a similar note, the Plant This, Not That trend has taken off! It’s inspired by Susan Morrison’s article in Fine Gardening Magazine last year, in which she gave some examples of overused plants and some less-common alternatives to use in the garden.

Native plant gardeners have been creating Plant This, Not That editions for their own regions, to give us all a quick hit of inspiration for gardening with more natives:

Plant This, Not That: California by yours truly

Plant This, Not That: The Book (for the east coast) by Vincent Vizachero

Plant This, Not That: Connecticut by Debbie Roberts

Plant This, Not That: New Jersey by Pat Sutton (and another!)

Plant This, Not That: New York by Donna Donnabella

And an updated version from Susan Morrison including a few lovely CA natives!

Lastly, a special thanks to Carole Brown, whose tireless work on behalf of wildlife gardening has provided amazing resources and inspiration for gardeners around the US and beyond. She just wrote a post thanking me for being her muse. But Carole’s long been MY muse and a real catalyst for changing the way landscapers like me approach our work.

Can gardens with wildlife benefit look as attractive as gardens devoid of birds, native bees, and salamanders? I’d say that with careful design, they have so much more to offer! And Carole’s been a huge part in my journey to discover how to design “stealthy” wildlife gardens – those that give back to wildlife and reflect a sense of regional flair without looking like a conservation project.

Wherever you are in your gardening journey, I’d encourage you to check out Carole’s work at Ecosystem Gardening, and her group blogs Beautiful Wildlife Gardens and Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brenda January 27, 2012 at 7:40 am

I love a natural garden. I have planted several wildflowers and even some milkweed for the monarch butterflies. Much to my neighbors disgust, I must admit. They tell me I am promoting WEEDS. But, I do receive the benefit of watching many butterflies and hummingbirds visit which negates their comments.

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