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Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People

Jun 30, 2008

A reporter recently told me that the word “landscaping” appeals more to people today than “gardening” because it sounds like less work. I doubt that was on author Dave Tylka’s mind when he wrote the book “Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People” in 2002. But judging by the great new information on taking care of native plants, and the addition of more easily found natives on the list of gardeners’ choices, it looks like this newly revised book from the Missouri Department of Conservation definitely has “easier” in mind.

Of course, nature doesn’t always respond in picture-perfect ways. The purple coneflowers I planted at the front of my garden are tall and flopping over, not standing perfectly like the ones on the book cover. I love those charts, though, that include tips on how each plant helps wildlife, what’s special about it, what sun/soil conditions it needs. It’s not as easy as putting plastic flowers around the yard (something a friend’s neighbor did), but planting perennials once that last for years of blooms isn’t as tough as adding new annuals each year. (If you want to see more information on particular native plants, you can also go to our Grow Native! website.)

The subtitle of the book is “How to use native Midwestern plants to beautify your property and benefit wildlife.” The 182 colorful pages help you do just that for $18 (plus sales tax and shipping where applicable). The books are available online, at our nature centers or by phone toll free at 877-521-8632.

One last note. After hearing about the distinction between “landscaping” and “gardening,” I’m curious what you think. Does one word appeal more than the other? Is it because it suggests more work or something else?

Comments

This is a great question. My personal view is that landscaping is a lot more work than gardening. The reason is with gardening it entails a lot of planting, mulching ,grafting, weeding, digging small holes and general maintenance of an existing garden. Where as landscaping can involve rock walls, retaining walls, garden features such as fountains, waterfalls and small creeks . Large stone placement, drainage and the list can go on not to mention planting of small and large plants and trees. Landscaping is generally what you do to make a garden and Gardening is what you do to the garden after it has been landscaped. I hope this offers another view. Thanks for the post it was great to read.

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