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Designing California Native Gardens

The Plant Community Approach to Artful, Ecological Gardens

Glenn Keator & Alrie Middlebrook



10×7in • 25×17.5cm

352 pages

index included

ISBNs: 0520251105 • 9780520251106

University of California Press • 2007

Following a series of recently published book on gardening with California native plants, this book has a unique approach. The authors chose to organize this book by our state's diverse native plant communities, such as 'bluffs and cliffs', 'redwood forest', 'desert gardens', 'mixed evergreen forest', 'riparian woodland and wetlands', to name a few. Learning about these communities and how they might be expressed in your garden adds an extra dimension. Good, sustainable, garden design is actually about creating a system of elements that work well together - this work certainly helps address this concept. Numerous plants and their uses are discussed, including some that are not yet common in gardens, providing material for evaluation by hobbyist and professional alike. A great addition to our expanding library of books on this important topic.

Inspirational, practical, and easy to use, this book was created with the aim of conveying the awesome diversity and beauty of California's native plants and demonstrating how they can be brought into ecologically sound, attractive, workable, and artful gardens. Structured around major California plant communities--bluffs, redwoods, the Channel Islands, coastal scrub, grasslands, deserts, oak woodlands, mixed evergreen woodlands, riparian, chaparral, mountain meadows, and wetlands--the book's twelve chapters each include sample plans for a native garden design accompanied by original drawings, color photographs, a plant list, tips on successful gardening with individual species, and more. Both residential and professional gardeners will learn the benefits of going native with gardens that require less water and fewer fertilizers, attract wildlife, engage the senses, create a sense of place, and, at the same time, preserve our rich natural heritage.

Designing Native California Gardens includes:

More than 600 selected native species recommended for the garden

More than 300 photographs of native plants, natural plant communities, and residential native gardens

Recommended places to visit for viewing each plant community

Glenn Keator, a California plant specialist, is author of Introduction to Trees of the San Francisco Bay Area, The Life of an Oak, Plants of the East Bay Parks, and Complete Garden Guide to the Native Perennials of California.

Alrie Middlebrook is the founder and president of Middlebrook Gardens in San Jose, California, a design company that specializes in California native gardens. She is author of Eating California. They have been hiking California and teaching classes on California native plants for thirteen years.

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