I was first introduced to this book and a video presentation by Tallamy in 2012 - during a Master Gardener meeting in NC. I became enthralled and bought the ebook so I can always have it with me as a reference. Tallamy collaborated with Darke on a new book coming out in June 2014, The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden
There are also wonderful online references
I have planted many native plants (grown from a local native plant nursery as well). I cannot emphasize enough how important this book was/is to me! A must read!
This book really opened my eyes. I heard the author speak at the Mount Cuba Center in Delaware and got hooked. It seems really odd to be excited about planting natives so that bugs can eat them, but the whole web of bugs, butterflies, songbirds and natural control through balanced planting can be so beneficial. The author doesn't make you guilty for planting barren alien specimens, but gently urges you to plant beneficial natives along side them. I'm committed to use beneficial natives as I expand my plantings and also as I replace or move my non-natives.
Truly a new way of thinking about your yard as being connected to the environment.
It is written in a clear, direct, easy to understand style that doesn't preach, simply states scientific information in a fascinating manner.
It really made me see my garden and gardening choices as very necessary to the whole eco system.
Now I will try not only to please myself in my garden but try to attract the insects that will feed the birds and other creatures in the long interconnected chain.
This is an excellent book that will have you seeing your garden in a new light. Tallamy explains the responsibility gardeners have in their choice of plants and points out the benefits of making thoughtful selections. His fundamental point is that if you want wildlife, particularly birds, you must provide homes for the insects birds eat. His book has become my "Bible" when it comes to planting. There are so many wonderful native plants. Why choose one that will sit there and serve no function when you can have one that is just as attractive and will attract, shelter, or feed wildlife?
In this book Tallamy emphasizes the importance of suburban gardens to the intricate food web that supports the insects, birds, toads and all other animals native to our areas. I have never seen such a clear and compelling explanation of the food web. He poses questions and answers them is an accessible way, including his own experiences and adventures with the landscape. Though the future could be dark, Tallamy is optimistic and reminds us that biodiversity is a renewable resource. Tallamy is not only knowdegeable, he is a clear and engaging writer.