Indigenous plants - their beauty is our natural heritage, their bounty is our sustenance. Gardeners, with all good fortune and flora, are endowed with love for a hobby that has profound potential for positive change. The beautifully illustrated "Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East" approaches landscape design from an ecological perspective, encouraging professional horticulturalists and backyard enthusiasts alike to intensify their use of indigenous or native plants. These plants, ones that grow naturally in the same place in which they evolved, form the basis of the food web. Wildlife simply cannot continue to survive without them - nor can we. Why indigenous plants, you may ask? What makes them so special to butterflies and bees and boys and girls? For Carolyn Summers, the answer is as natural as an ephemeral spring wildflower or berries of the gray dogwood. Emphasizing the importance of indigenous plant gardening and landscape design, Summers provides guidelines for skilled sowers and budding bloomers.
She highlights: the best ways to use exotic and nonindigenous plants responsibly; easy-to-follow strategies for hosting wildlife in fields, forests, and gardens; designs for traditional gardens using native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers as substitutes for exotic plants; examples of flourishing plant communities from freshwater streams to open meadows; and, how to control plant reproduction, choose cultivars, open-pollinated indigenous plants, and different types of hybrids, and practice 'safe sex in the garden'. The following is a glimpse inside "Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East": Bringing Up Birds, The Aquatic Food Web, Practicing Science in the Garden, The Wild Flora Sanctuary, Understanding Scientific Names, Reproductive Processes in Plants, Americans Abroad, Americans at Home, Basic Design Considerations, Elements of Style, Functional Design, Habitats of Plant Communities, The Seashore, Finding Trusted Sources of Information, Visiting Nurseries, Fruiting Plants...and more.
CAROLYN SUMMERS is an adjunct professor for continuing education at Westchester Community College and provides technical assistance to the Native Plant Center, an affiliate of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.