The Life in the Landscape and the Landscape in Our Lives
Click on the small black arrow on the bar to listen, or the MP3 to download the show:
In 2007, Doug Tallamy wrote a seminal book (Bringing Nature Home) pointing out the importance of creating landscapes that considered the animals that co-evolved with local plants and how important it was to include those plants for the sake of their partners. That book hit a chord with home gardeners whether they were interested in the life around their properties before, or were enlightened by the new approach presented in the book.
If anything was lacking, it was some direct advice on achieving these commendable goals and attractive photos of places that had succeeded.
In 2014, the popular author, photographer, designer and teacher Rick Darke partnered with Doug to produce a new book: The Living Landscape. The subtitle says it all: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden. (Doug and Rick, left)
A home garden is often seen as separate from the natural world surrounding it. In truth, it is actually just one part of a larger landscape made up of many living layers.
The replacement of the rich layers of native flora with turf grass and paving greatly diminishes a garden's biological diversity and ecological function. The Living Landscape seeks to reverse this trend by showing gardeners how to create a landscape that is full of life.
Rick realized that in his earlier book, The American Woodland Garden, there are scores of photos, but only a few of animals. Doug showed Rick the incredible life in his garden, and Rick showed Doug the importance of context – of showing the animals and the plants that support them. Rick’s photo of a cardinal on a dogwood in his garden – bird in context -- is shown here.