Monday, September 20, 2010

Restoring the ecology of your yard and garden

About 15 years ago, a garden board member mentioned Sara Stein's book Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards to me.

It was transformational to read.

She described the arc of her learning as a gardener from tidy ornamentals (the wildlife vanished) back to ecological gardening, and restoration.

I was reminded yet again of this coming back from a recent trip (to Garden Writers Association's annual meeting).

Returning into the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, visible through the small jet window, there were subdivisions, barren of any actual plantings, with red clay subsoil visible through the window.


  1. Whenever I drive through a new development with a barren landscape I am saddened. It amazes me that many of the residents don't seem to mind - they spend their time behind closed windows and doors.

  2. It IS depressing, but I do think that restoration and gardening can spread.

    Garden Walk in Buffalo is an amazing story that (in a short-season place) has converted non-gardeners to gardeners block by block, and now has over 360 folks offering up their gardens to be on this open (free) weekend tour.

    That's inspirational!


  3. I think without my fenced in yard, I'd feel more pressure to keep up the lawn and blandness in my Greenville subdivision. With our privacy fence and our new gardening projects this year, the only thing we water is the raised beds and a few fruit trees and our grass is dying, making way for what wants to grow there on its own. It is a new subdivision, so hopefully newly returned. It sounds like I need to read that book!

  4. "barren of any actual plantings". . . except for that fertilizer-intensive, labor-draining, wildlife-barren monoculture of grass.

  5. So happy to find this blog. It represents everything I am trying to do in my yard as a new resident in the neighborhood. I am working on restoring the natural succession of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and even moss. My neighbors are stuck in a time zone of perfectly manicured (but barren) lawns while remaining behind closed doors most of the time. Thankfully, I have a few neighbors with the same mindset as me. I want to welcome back all of the critters, birds, and buzzing bees. Thank you for sharing this, I will be reading more!


I enjoy hearing from fellow nature lovers and gardeners. Let me know your thoughts.

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