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This attractive, practical guide explains how to transform backyard gardens into living ecosystems that are not only enjoyable retreats for humans, but also thriving sanctuaries for wildlife. Beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs, this book provides easy-to-follow recommendations for providing food, cover, and water for birds, bees, butterflies, and other small animals. Emphasizing individual creativity over conventional design, Bauer asks us to consider the intricate relationships between plants and wildlife and our changing role as steward, rather than manipulator, of these relationships.
In an engaging narrative that endorses simple and inexpensive methods of wildlife habitat gardening, Nancy Bauer discusses practices such as recycling plant waste on site, using permeable pathways, growing regionally appropriate plants, and avoiding chemical fertilizers and insecticides. She suggests ways of attracting pollinators through planting choices and offers ideas for building water sources and shelters for wildlife. A plant resource guide, tips for propagating plants, seasonal plants for hummingbirds, and host plants for butterflies round out The California Wildlife Habitat Garden, making it an indispensable primer for those about to embark on creating their own biologically diverse, environmentally friendly garden.
Nancy Bauer is the author of The Habitat Garden Book: Wildlife Landscaping for the San Francisco Bay Region. She is a writer and garden instructor based in Sonoma County. She has taught classes for the San Francisco Botanical Garden, UC Davis Master Gardeners’ training programs, the National Wildlife Stewardship Program, and for numerous garden and nature organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
"A must-have for novice gardeners, and an invaluable resource for more experience gardeners looking to expand or improve their wildlife garden. It is well written, applicable throughout California, easy to understand, and has stunning photographs."
– Carolyn Martus Fremontia
"Well-produced, practical, and thorough, this book is a significant contribution to habitat gardening literature," says Brandy Kuhl. She particularly appreciates its "useful plant lists and appendices." Susan Appleget Hurst feels that it is an "outstanding model for other regionally oriented habitat gardening books in terms of level of detail and useful specifics."
– Judges for 2013 Garden Book Award American Horticulture Society
"A practical and readable guide for turning backyard gardens into sanctuaries for birds and bees and beneficial insects. Bauer [...] calls on readers to consider the intricate relationship between plants and wildlife, and the role humans can take as steward rather than manipulator, of those relationships."
– Press Democrat