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The Landscaping Ideas of Jays: A Natural History of the Backyard Restoration Garden

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Elegantly organized by season, this lyrical yet practical guide to backyard restoration gardening celebrates the beauty, the challenges, and the rewards of growing native plants at home. Judith Larner Lowry, winner of the prestigious John Burroughs award, here builds on themes from her best-selling Gardening with a Wild Heart, which introduced restoration gardening as a ne Elegantly organized by season, this lyrical yet practical guide to backyard restoration gardening celebrates the beauty, the challenges, and the rewards of growing native plants at home. Judith Larner Lowry, winner of the prestigious John Burroughs award, here builds on themes from her best-selling Gardening with a Wild Heart, which introduced restoration gardening as a new way of thinking about land and people. Drawing on her experiences in her own garden, Lowry offers guidance on how to plan a garden with birds, plants, and insects in mind; how to shape it with trees and shrubs, paths and trails, ponds, and other features; and how to cultivate, maintain, and harvest seeds and food from a diverse array of native annuals and perennials. Working in passionate collaboration with the scrub jays, quail, ants, and deer who visit her garden, and inspired by other gardeners, including some of the women pioneers of native plant horticulture, Lowry shares the delights of creating site-specific, ever-changing gardens that can help us better understand our place in the natural world.


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Elegantly organized by season, this lyrical yet practical guide to backyard restoration gardening celebrates the beauty, the challenges, and the rewards of growing native plants at home. Judith Larner Lowry, winner of the prestigious John Burroughs award, here builds on themes from her best-selling Gardening with a Wild Heart, which introduced restoration gardening as a ne Elegantly organized by season, this lyrical yet practical guide to backyard restoration gardening celebrates the beauty, the challenges, and the rewards of growing native plants at home. Judith Larner Lowry, winner of the prestigious John Burroughs award, here builds on themes from her best-selling Gardening with a Wild Heart, which introduced restoration gardening as a new way of thinking about land and people. Drawing on her experiences in her own garden, Lowry offers guidance on how to plan a garden with birds, plants, and insects in mind; how to shape it with trees and shrubs, paths and trails, ponds, and other features; and how to cultivate, maintain, and harvest seeds and food from a diverse array of native annuals and perennials. Working in passionate collaboration with the scrub jays, quail, ants, and deer who visit her garden, and inspired by other gardeners, including some of the women pioneers of native plant horticulture, Lowry shares the delights of creating site-specific, ever-changing gardens that can help us better understand our place in the natural world.

37 review for The Landscaping Ideas of Jays: A Natural History of the Backyard Restoration Garden

  1. 4 out of 5

    NormaJean

    Organized by season, almost every essay will give you a new idea, or guidance on something you’re already doing. And reasons. And descriptions of how it all works together. Specifics not told elsewhere, like - bugs need plants to cover 16’ square, so just one plant won’t do!!! I met the author recently. I was inspired to read her book. I did experience sadness as well as joy, in her descriptions of what has been lost as well as what has been saved. That done, I have notes to follow for improving Organized by season, almost every essay will give you a new idea, or guidance on something you’re already doing. And reasons. And descriptions of how it all works together. Specifics not told elsewhere, like - bugs need plants to cover 16’ square, so just one plant won’t do!!! I met the author recently. I was inspired to read her book. I did experience sadness as well as joy, in her descriptions of what has been lost as well as what has been saved. That done, I have notes to follow for improving my yards. Happy gardening!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    If you do not usually seek gardening advice from the native flora and fauna in your community, you will after reading The Landscaping Ideas of Jays. Yes, you read that correctly. I do mean the plants, insects, trees, birds, bees, animals, and grasses that are native to where you live. “How so?” you ask. Read the book and you will understand. Read the whole review at https://greengroundswell.com/the-land... If you do not usually seek gardening advice from the native flora and fauna in your community, you will after reading The Landscaping Ideas of Jays. Yes, you read that correctly. I do mean the plants, insects, trees, birds, bees, animals, and grasses that are native to where you live. “How so?” you ask. Read the book and you will understand. Read the whole review at https://greengroundswell.com/the-land...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    "Elegantly organized by season, this lyrical yet practical guide to backyard restoration gardening celebrates the beauty, the challenges and the rewards of growing native plants at home. Judith Larner Lowry,winner or the prestigious John Burroughs award, here builds on themes from her best-selling Gardening With a Wild Heart, which introduced restoration gardening as a new way of thinking about land and people. Drawing on experiences from her own garden, Lowry offers guidance on how to plan a la "Elegantly organized by season, this lyrical yet practical guide to backyard restoration gardening celebrates the beauty, the challenges and the rewards of growing native plants at home. Judith Larner Lowry,winner or the prestigious John Burroughs award, here builds on themes from her best-selling Gardening With a Wild Heart, which introduced restoration gardening as a new way of thinking about land and people. Drawing on experiences from her own garden, Lowry offers guidance on how to plan a landscape with birds, plants, and insects in mind: how to shape it with trees and shrubs, paths and trails, ponds, and other features and how to cultivate, maintain,and harvest seeds and food from a diverse array of native annuals and perennials. Along the way, she exposes us to information and insights from indigenous traditions, ethnobotany, local history, ornithology, entomology, and restoration ecology." ~~back cover Sounds pretty dull and dry, doesn't it? But it's not -- it's an enchanting book, and one that made me start thinking about the "web of life": how the loss of native plants dooms the animals and insects and birds that depend on those plants for food, shelter, reproduction, etc. It's made me itchy to try to restore my suburban yard, something I never thought I'd be at all anxious to do.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sam Stafford

    The Landscaping Ideas of Jays is the first book I would recommend to someone who might be interested in native plant gardening in California. Although it contains a good amount of practical information, it's written in a conversational style that invites you to read it straight through rather than flip through it as you would a more dryly written reference. The overarching theme of the book is the interaction of the garden with the natural world. Sections are organized according to seasons (makin The Landscaping Ideas of Jays is the first book I would recommend to someone who might be interested in native plant gardening in California. Although it contains a good amount of practical information, it's written in a conversational style that invites you to read it straight through rather than flip through it as you would a more dryly written reference. The overarching theme of the book is the interaction of the garden with the natural world. Sections are organized according to seasons (making this an invaluable aid to comprehension for recent transplants who haven't gotten their head around the coastal California climate -- yes, there are seasons here, five of them!) and how seasonal changes influence gardening tasks. Interactions between the garden and wildlife are also a point of focus, including tips for wildlife-centric garden design (such as picking a "keystone animal" that you want to invite to your garden with your plant choices) as well as the ways that co-evolved traits lead wildlife itself to act as gardener (hence the title). If this book doesn't get you excited about the natural world and the possibilities for preserving/restoring a little chunk of it in your own backyard, I don't know what.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dnicebear

    I'm glad I waited to read this book until I after I visited the demonstration garden and shop of Ms Lowry, located in Bolinas, CA. The joy of being in a place where someone has magnified the voice of that place is a dream come true. That Ms. Lowry sees Wind, Bird and Forb as an ally and is willing to discuss the question about talking to plants brings out that we are kindred spirits. I learned so much more about California from reading this book--and about things that really matter and am invite I'm glad I waited to read this book until I after I visited the demonstration garden and shop of Ms Lowry, located in Bolinas, CA. The joy of being in a place where someone has magnified the voice of that place is a dream come true. That Ms. Lowry sees Wind, Bird and Forb as an ally and is willing to discuss the question about talking to plants brings out that we are kindred spirits. I learned so much more about California from reading this book--and about things that really matter and am invited to let notice of time passing be given completely by ripening of seeds, emerging of insects and the sweep of nature. I especially enjoyed learning about three female naturalists who were as enthusiastic and thorough as John Muir, but who do not get quoted or storied as much. "The law is this: The land requires our attention. Either you pay attention, or you hire someone to pay attention, but attention, one way or the other, must be paid." (p. 228)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I love her writing voice. It is like music an ode to the natural world and the native garden

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carrie La Seur

    A mesmerizing true story of living lightly, and natively, on the land. One of my favorite books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Burk

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christian

  11. 4 out of 5

    C.interruptus

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rose Linke

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    This is the best book I have read about Cal native gardening. Loved it. Underlined much of it. Am learning so much and I have new heroes- Lester Rowntree, Edith Van Allen Murphy, and Gerda Isenberg. I look forward to hunting for and propagating willows for my garden.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steven McKay

  15. 4 out of 5

    Siera

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly B

  17. 5 out of 5

    Terry

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kaffeine Kitty

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Flores

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carol Spencer

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dipti

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ken Weiner

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate Merriman

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  28. 4 out of 5

    Somerta

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karel C.

  31. 5 out of 5

    Quare

  32. 5 out of 5

    BookDB

  33. 4 out of 5

    jeffrey

  34. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  35. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  36. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

  37. 4 out of 5

    Grammaticus Kidco

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