recommend a book for the beginner native convert

spmimi(z6 (nyc))

i've always been environmentally aware, but planning for my first real garden space had me all smitten with these foreign chinese orchids and whatnots.

but after taking an early spring walk in the BBG woodland native garden, i was re-inspired in my commitment to provide a natural oasis. i know i won't necessarily be planting things that would naturally occur right next to each other in the wild, but i think it's a valid compromise for my tiny 10x10 space in new york city!!

i've been doing alot of online research, here and elsewhere, but i was hoping some of you might be able to recommend a book? ideally it would have both some meaningful text as well as reference (cultural requirements, photos, etc) for actual growing of natives. i know that even the "experts" will disagree on cultural requirements, so i would love to know what books are kind of considered the "standards" so to speak with good, solid, accurate reference.

many thanks in advance!!

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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

Posters on this forum introduced me to Sara Stein's books. Noah's Garden would be my first pick. A very enjoyable read.

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Treedoc66(6b)

For more reference and less rhetoric, consider Cullina's books entitled "Native Trees shrubs and Vines" as well as "Growing and propagating Wildflowers".
Get ready for sticker shock, but thay are books you will have for a lifetime.

Rx

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taylmat_OK(z6B Tulsa)

I own Cullina's wildflower book "Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the US and Canada". It's a reference that will last a lifetime. Solid information on hundreds of species as well as general care tips.

The book that got me started on native plant gardening was "The Landscaping Revolution" by Andy Wasowski. It is less concerned with description of species and gives a lot more info on ways to 'go native'. He and his wife, Sally, have authored a number of other books that are more in the general reference sttyle on natives and I recommend all of them.

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Iris GW

For me it was not a book, it was a group - the native plant society. Now, I have read lots of books since, but nothing beats the interaction of working with like minded people.

Here is a link that might be useful: List of native plant societies in the US

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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Noah's Garden - by Sarah Stein

Sand County Alamanac - by Aldo Leopold

lots of information - handbook and stuff available on the wild ones website. www.for-wild.org

prairie nursery website has some interesting articles by Neil Diboll that are great to read...

Here is a link that might be useful: one of Neil's articles

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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

i have to agree with canstopgardening culinas books are my favorite both trees and shrubs and wildflowers I just bought a new book native plants of the northeast it's pretty good but not nearly as good as william cullina's in my opinion. Sarah

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread on new book

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Elaine_NJ6

Stein's second gardening book, Planting Noah's Garden, has essays (first half) and how-tos (second half). I dare anyone to really read her books and not be converted. Also, after reading, you have a good grasp of the process you need to follow to reclaim your land.

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spmimi(z6 (nyc))

thanks everyone! the local library actually had a copy of cullina's book and i picked it up last night. it seems like a great reference book. i will also check out stein's book. and unfortunately, the only native plant society here in nyc is way too technical for me as a regular contact. and it is impossible to find native plants to buy here (even at my beloved brooklyn botanical garden, not one native plant for sale). so i guess, native and nyc are just too much of an oxymoron for most people!! :)

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well_drained(z6a MA)

The book I found (and still find) most helpful is Natural Landscaping by Diekelmann. He gives you the basics of landscaping (site analysis, creating a design, etc.) but from a native plants perspective. He describes the various plant communities of the U.S. and asks you to choose one (or more -- if your site has significant variation) and work with that community of plants, instead of picking and choosing native plants you like but that wouldn't really be growing together in the wild. The idea is that these communities evolved together and so it makes ecological sense to try to recreate them (on a small scale, in most cases, certainly yours) to some extent.

The other suggestions are excellent too. I'd say Noah's Garden for inspiration and encouragement and the native plants philosophy, Diekelmann for the big picture of plant communities (lots of plant lists!) and hands-on landscaping instructions, and Cullina for the details on specific plants.

Good luck!

-- wd

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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Cullina's books are a reference must. However, any of Lorraine Johnson's books are also great. Her "The Ontario Naturalized Garden" combines a little of the "rhetoric" of S. Stein with a lot of practical design and plant selection info. Although it is about Ontario native plants, Southern Ontario and NY state have very similar native plant communities.

Below is a link to reviews of some of the books discussed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Book Reviews

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ahughes798(z5 IL)

I recommend "landscaping with native plants" by Wasowski & Wasowski.

How to's and reference! April

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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

spmimi I have never been to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, but I have a few of their books and they even have some on native plants. Have you been to the New York Botanical garden in the Bronx? My daughter was at Fordham and she insisted I see the Native plant garden there It was amazing There were hummingbirds everywhere and It was a little paradise in the Bronx. Sarah

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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

The American Woodland Garden by Rick Dark. Beautiful photographs of plants, woods and gardens. Comprehensive. No small urban gardens, but there are vignettes and combinations that you could use, many small trees and shrubs as well as the underplantings.

Lisa

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