Resources – Creating Habitat
Click on any title or book cover to jump to Amazon.com.
by Andy and Sally Wasowski
The Wasowskis have written numerous books on the subject of appropriate gardening for dry climates; this book takes on the subject of why you would want to do – with great vigor and humor. Just the chapter titles alone – including such gems as “Your Lawn Has a Drinking Problem”, “Alternatives to Chemical Warfare”, and “Homogenize Milk, Not Landscapes – should let you know what you’re in for. If nothing else, buy it for ammo to help convert your neighbors. You'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll want to do something about it when you're done. (Out of print, but available used. This is the reprinted cover; we prefer the original cover art!)
Written by Judith Larner Lowry of Larner Seeds (a native plant nursery in Northern California that seeks to promote the riches of our California flora), Gardening with a Wild Heart is one of our favorite inspirational book. It’s a combination of Judith’s personal story and the ecology of native habitats, horticulture, and restoration. It is not a guide book to our native plants (see California Native Plants for the Garden on our Resources>Plants page for that), but it will leave you feeling energized and utterly convinced that ripping out your ivy-covered landscape and replacing it with California natives for wildlife is a wonderful idea. Worked on us anyway. (Oh, and you better like Coyote Bush...)
by Sara Stein
If you’re in the mood for something more philosophical and prose-y, you’ll like Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards by Sara Stein. Although published in 1993, the story of how the Steins created a successful backyard wildlife habitat is timeless. If you ever wanted to hope that your little patch on earth could make a difference to wildlife, Noah’s Garden will turn you into a true believer. (You'll also be enlisting the neighbors as well.) Sprinkled with cute stories (a little sugary in places), it’s an easy-to-read book that manages to be educational without being preachy.
Check out the Backyard Wildlife Habitat program at the National Wildlife Federation for tips on making your garden attractive to wildlife.