Bringing Nature Home - new book!
Through the NARGS ( N. American Rock Garden Society) bookstore, I purchased a copy of a newly released Timber Press book. Bringing Nature Home is authored by Douglas W Tallamy, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware.
Not long ago the Hardy Plant Society Mid-Atlantic Group included an article by this author in their newsletter.
Native insects, a crucial part of the food chain, are threatened by the lack of native plantings and the abundance of invasive alien trees, vines and herbaceous plants. These insects depend on native flora for survival. It is truly a wake up call to homeowners and gardeners as suburban sprawl has eaten up all remnants of natural, native habitats, and in its place are large housing developments with huge expanses of lawn with mostly alien tree species. Wild bird populations are threatened as well as many small animals. The impact affects our lives.
Seven years ago the author purchased ten acres of land in southeastern PA , 35% of which was covered in alien invasives. He and his family have removed the invasives and planted natives and recorded the results.
The book contains wonderful photos of a wide range of insects and their host plants and discussions of them. The most important natives to be included in gardens are listed by region in Appendix 1. There are lists for Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, Pacific Northwest with a break down for moist and dry sites as well as the type of plant ( tree, grass, herb, )Appendix II is a list of host plants for butterflies and showy moths.
Now to try to change the mindset of landscapers, homeowners, and municipalities...... I'm a volunteer on the Tree Commission in my township and the newly elected officials seem to be receptive. Perhaps the Tree Commission will be able to host a few programs for students in area schools.
We have just planted a traffic cirle with a willow oak, and a dozen Amelanchier....... so progress is being made!
( compare to old plantings of Kwanzan cherry trees along Route 3)