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This book is a very useful introduction to adding garden worthy native trees, shrubs, vines, and perennials to your Midwest landscape. It includes an essay on the advantages of native plants, as well as tips for picking plants and designing with them. The bulk of the book is an illustrated list of plants to choose from. The author uses the common names (the Latin is also given) and no US hardiness zone, but gardeners in southeast Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio can assume that, some soil conditions excepted, they can successfully grow all of these. His sense of humor and honesty remind me of legendary garden writer Allan Armitage. I loved this description of the swamp white oak: "the darling of city foresters in urban-damaged soils." Yes, that's the tree planted in front of Literati after others failed to survive. My neighborhood sidewalks are shaded by the Kentucky coffee tree, a dinosaur whose bark is "probably a protective armor for "long-extinct ground sloths." What the author fails to mention is its relentless suckering, its lateness at leafing out, and the giant seed pods that fall on your head. I have planted and sometimes killed the majority of the perennials that he recommends. When I had tall coreopsis I had flocks of goldfinches, but also-once they found them-annual flocks of aphids. And when the author tells you that a plant is aggressive, believe him the first time. It took me five years to remove non-native running bamboo from my yard: the running native pipevine will go down with the house. On the other hand, I would not be without yucca, butterfly weed ( there is always a short-lived milkweed bug visit in the fall that I actually enjoy-no harm done) maidenhair fern, marsh-marigold, virginia bluebells, wood poppies, and dozens of other natives. Get this book and go visit the new Belle Isle Piet Oudolf designed garden this spring to see a naturalistic planting that uses many (but not all) native plants.— From Carla's Picks
Bring your garden to life—and life to your garden!
Do you want a garden that makes a real difference? Choose plants native to our Midwest region. The rewards will benefit you, your yard, and the environment—from reducing maintenance tasks to attracting earth-friendly pollinators such as native birds, butterflies, and bees. Native plant expert Alan Branhagen makes adding these superstar plants easier than ever before, with proven advice that every home gardener can follow. This incomparable sourcebook includes 225 recommended native ferns, grasses, wildflowers, perennials, vines, shrubs, and trees. It’s everything you need to know to create a beautiful and beneficial garden.
This must-have handbook is for gardeners in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.