New Book: Climate-Wise Landscaping, Practical Actions for a Sustainable Future

Perfect! A book on climate-wise landscaping written by two authors who understand the vital role native plants must play in any future we can both envision and want to live in. What could be more important right now? We don’t want to sit around wringing our hands, say the authors; we want to DO something about climate change; and their new book was written to empower all of its readers to do just that.

In an unusual act of endorsement, Dr. Doug Tallamy has written an eloquent two-page foreword to Climate-Wise Landscaping, Practical Actions for a Sustainable Future. He lists the challenges we face in mitigating climate change as one of the major drivers of the sixth great extinction of life on our planet and concludes with this statement: “Read this book carefully. Everything you need to know to help heal our relationship with planet earth and empower you to make a much-needed difference is within these pages.”

A new book with practical advice on eco-friendly gardening.

A new book with practical advice on eco-friendly gardening.

Beautifully designed, the book is user-friendly and attractive. The information is current and science-based, with end notes that give readers access to further research. It includes a comprehensive cross-reference system within the text that makes important connections available at a glance. Each chapter is formatted consistently with clearly marked subtitles:

  • Overviews
  • Action Topics, with bulleted Action items
  • Why this matters
  • Last thoughts

Several chapters also include  extremely useful ‘Primer’ sections. These provide basic knowledge that might be needed before complex ideas can be fully understood. For instance, the section on Water is prefaced with ‘A Primer on Water Chemistry and Plants.’ Of course there is a ‘Primer on Native Plants’ in the chapter on Ecosystems.

Lively side boxes make their own great reads!

Lively side boxes make their own great reads!

The book is peppered throughout with lively side-boxes that include advice, inspiration, and wisdom from such leading lights as E.O. Wilson, Darrell Morrison, Travis Beck, Thomas Rainer, and Claudia West, among others.

The authors, who are respectively, Sue Reed, Landscape Architect; and Ginny Stibolt, Botanist/Naturalist, are not only advocates of native plants, but  also experienced practitioners in their fields. Their special insight makes this book unique. Each chapter is filled with the kind of practical knowledge and step-by-step guidance that will inform the most casual of backyard gardeners, the experienced gardeners; and the professional landscapers and designers who want to make their efforts part of the solution, rather the detriment, of our collective future.

Although the reasons for use of natives are emphasized throughout the book, the authors are careful to avoid the pitfall of overselling natives; explaining effects of soil depletion, water needs, transplanting problems. With the exception of edible foods and invasive plants, the plant photos feature natives. There are valuable explanations of how to search for natives, and of why the plant industry so often promotes the wrong kinds of plants.

Are you ready to DO something NOW? Need to start at the beginning of native plant gardening? Want to know how to repair forest edges? Need specifics on slope calculations? Want to know what materials are the most eco-friendly? You’ll find answers in Climate-Wise Landscaping. This is a book that you will keep as a reference, and it is certainly one you will want to use in your advocacy efforts whenever you have the time and opportunity to educate others. 

{Editor’s Note: This book is available right now. More details and an online order form here:}

Sue Dingwell
Potowmack Chapter