Books on Gardening with Native Plants

Go Native!: Gardening With Native Plants and Wildflowers in the Lower Midwest by Carolyn Harstad, Author and Photographer, and Jeanette Ming, Illustrator

Using a simple question and answer format, this informative and user-friendly book focuses on the Lower Midwest, and includes everything you need to know about gardening with plants and wildflowers native to the region. It explains methods of planning, site and soil preparation, garden design, plant selection and propagation. Illustrated with 125 drawings and 100 color photos.

Got Shade?: A "Take It Easy" Approach for Today's Gardener by Carolyn Harstad, Author and Photographer

Carolyn Harstad, author of the best-selling Go Native!, organizes this book around the principle that an interesting shade garden is well balanced and has a variety of plantings. Early chapters focus on designing the low-maintenance garden. Further chapters discuss small trees, shrubs, dwarf conifers, vines, ground covers, ferns, grasses, perennials, woodland wildflowers, spring bulbs, and annuals (yes, there are annuals that enjoy shade!). She discusses hundreds of shade-tolerant plants hardy in Zones 4-8, suggests how they may be used and combined, and recommends methods to reduce garden maintenance—a universal concern in this fast-paced world.

A Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wildflowers: An Organic Guide to Choosing and Growing over 150 Beautiful Wildflowers by C. Colston Burrell

A Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wildflowers makes wildflower gardening as easy as mowing the lawn by teaching even beginning gardeners how to successfully prepare woodland, meadow and prairie gardens, and to add wildflowers to their standard garden beds. 250 color photos.

The Prairie Garden : 70 Native Plants You Can Grow in Town or Country by J. Robert Smith & Beatrice Scheer Smith

Packed with information on the propagation, culture, and landscaping uses of 70 different prairie plants. Written by the founders of Prairie Nursery, this is the original "bible" for prairie gardeners. It remains one of the best references on growing these wonderful native perennials.

The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn by John Greenlee, photographs by Saxon Holt

For the author, a meadow is not a random assortment of messy, anonymous grasses but a shimmering mini-ecosystem that combines grasses with colorful perennials to form a rich tapestry friendly to all life-with minimal input of water, time, and other scarce resources

The New American Landscape: Leading Voices on the Future of Sustainable Gardening edited by Thomas Christopher

The authors have studied key garden techniques and practices to give homeowners a roadmap to a garden in harmony with nature-and human nature.

The Wild Garden (Expanded Edition) by William Robinson, with new chapters and photography by Rick Darke

First published in 1870, The Wild Garden evolved through many editions throughout the author's life (1838-1935). Robinson advocates for the use of hardy, locally adapted native with exotic plants arranged according to local growing conditions. Darke's new material places wild gardening in the modern context, underscoring Robinson's importance in the evolution of ecological design.

The Midwestern Native Garden by Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz

The book names common non-native plants and suggests alternatives that are native to this part of the country and resemble those plants in height, ornamental features, and cultivation requirements. The authors note the native plants' benefits to specific wildlife. The plants are divided by season, making it easier to plant a garden with long-term interest.

Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide to Conserving North American Bees and Butterflies and Their Habitat by The Xerces Society

Full-color photographs depict more than 80 species of native pollinators, noting each one's range and habits. The heart of the book provides garden plans and techniques showing how to create flowering habitat to feed these pollinators, help expand the pollinator population, and provide pollinators with inviting nesting sites. Readers will also find useful instructions for creating nesting structures and educational activities.

Urban & Suburban Meadows by Catherine Zimmerman

Before manicured lawns, with their chemicals, mowers, and blowers, there were ecological meadows, with their butterflies, birds, and bees. Whether restoring a small urban pocket garden or reclaiming an acre of suburban lawn, this beautifully photographed book will compel readers to plant these living landscapes.