Why? Why garden sustainably?
If you are or ever have wondered “Why should I care about sustainability in my own garden?” the best book to read is Planting in a Post Wild World, says my horticulturist friend and colleague Ken Williams.
Here’s what Williams says:
"On the cover of Planting in a Post-Wild Word by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West is this statement by Doug Tallamy: This is the universal how-to guide to sustainable landscaping we have all been waiting for. Now, I’m a huge fan of Doug Tallamy and his books, starting with the landmark Bringing Nature Home. Yet in 2016, when I first found this Planting book at a nature center in western Michigan, it all just seemed too good to be true. The enormity of the claims; both Tallamy’s claim, and the claim implied by the title — no book could be that much. Boy was I wrong.
“In 2017 my wife bought Planting in a Post Wild World and brought it home. It sat on our bookshelf. I read other books on sustainable landscaping. Then, last October, Thomas Rainer spoke at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Early in the talk he presented what he called the “Holy Trinity” of sustainable landscape design: A planting design that 1) is beautiful, 2) provides maximum ecological services, and 3) is economical to maintain. And he showed us how to do it — step by step. Still, It took awhile for the brilliance of his words to sink in,” recalls Williams.
But finally, after meeting principle author Claudia West, Williams read the book…and then said, “Planting in a Post-Wild World really is the universal how-to guide to sustainable landscaping we have all been waiting for! Buy it! Read it! Share it with friends and colleagues! …. The new gardening and landscaping season is almost upon us. Understand the principles in this book before the season hits. You will be better for it. And so will a whole lot of other things.”
Ken is staff Horticulturist for Ringers Landscaping out of Fox River Grove Illinois, where he manages crews that maintain landscape plantings on over 120 properties. With a background in food production, he spent 16 years gardening a 100 acre city park and small zoo in southeast Kansas. The methods he advocates focus on each plant’s unique natural history, and the efficiency that knowledge produces.
I took Ken’s advice and read this book — and I’m glad I did. You will be too. Thanks Ken!
To read the original book review by Williams, click here.