Recommended Reading

Many of these books are available at the INPAWS booksale in conjunction with the spring Plant Sale & Auction and the fall Annual Conference.

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants (Updated and Expanded) by Douglas W. Tallamy, foreword by Rick Darke. Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals

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 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 

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.

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.

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. 

Go Native! Gardening With Native Plants and Wildflowers in the Lower Midwest by Carolyn Harstad (Author and Photographer) and Jeanette Ming (Illustrator), Indiana University Press, 1999. Using a simple question and answer format, this informative, 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. 

Got Shade? A “Take It Easy” Approach for Today’s Gardener by Carolyn Harstad (Author and Photographer), Indiana University Press, 2003. 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 even annuals.

Trees of Indiana by Maryrose Wampler (Illustrator), Fred Wampler (Author), Indiana University Press, 2000. The distinctive and intricate paintings of Maryrose Wampler illustrate this ambitious volume dealing with Indiana’s native trees. Each of the 72 color plates depicts one species, presented as a living organism in its natural settings. Fred Wampler contributes fascinating text to go with each plate, describing the tree’s properties, natural history, uses, and special features.

The Prairie Garden: 70 Native Plants You Can Grow in Town or Country by J. Robert Smith with Beatrice S. Smith, University of Wisconsin Press, 1980. Written by the founders of Prairie Nursery, this is the original “bible” for prairie gardeners. Packed with information on the propagation, culture, and landscaping uses of 70 different prairie plants. 

A Gardener’s Encyclopedia of Wildflowers: An Organic Guide to Choosing and Growing over 150 Beautiful Wildflowers by C. Colston Burrell, Rodale Press, 1997. 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.