Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded

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Timber Press, Sep 1, 2009 - Nature - 360 pages
9 Reviews
“If you cut down the goldenrod, the wild black cherry, the milkweed and other natives, you eliminate the larvae, and starve the birds. This simple revelation about the food web—and it is an intricate web, not a chain—is the driving force in Bringing Nature Home.” —The New York Times

As development and subsequent habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. But there is an important and simple step toward reversing this alarming trend: Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction.

Bringing Nature Home has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and the new paperback edition—with an expanded resource section and updated photos—will help broaden the movement. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 2wonderY - LibraryThing

This is one of those paradigm shifting books. So, do you want the local insects to eat holes in your leaves? Resoundingly, YES! If you want a healthy ecosystem, you have to encourage all of the local ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 4bonasa - LibraryThing

THE suburbanites guide to improving the environment, including global climate change. How to make the world a better place, one plant at a time. A must read by every gardener, landscaper and home owner. Read full review


A call to Action
2 The Vital New Role of the Suburban Garden
3 No Place to Hide
4 Who Cares about Biodiversity?
5 Why Cant Insects Eat Alien Plants?
6 What Is Native and What Is Not?
11 Making It Happen
12 What Should I Plant?
13 What Does Bird Food Look Like?
14 Answers to Tough Questions
The Last Refuge
Native Plants with Wildlife Value and Desirable landscaping Attributes by Region
Host Plants of Butterflies and showy moths
Experimental Evidence

7 The Costs of Using Alien Ornamentals
8 Creating Balanced Communities
9 Gardening for Insect Diversity
10 Blending In with the Neighbors

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About the author (2009)

Doug Tallamy is a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. He has been awared a silver medal by the Garden Writers’ Association, the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation, and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence. Tallamy is a regular columnist for Garden Design Magazine

Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer based in Pennsylvania who blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the creation and conservation of livable landscapes. His projects include scenic byways, public gardens, corporate and collegiate campuses, mixed-use conservation developments, and residential gardens. Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years and received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. Darke is recognized as one of the world's experts on grasses and their use in public and private landscapes. For further information visit

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