Sustainable landscape and environmentally friendly are key ideas in the gardening world today and Larry Weaver’s book, Garden Revolution, addresses the topic in a fresh new way. Based on the premise that once gardeners experience an ecological approach to gardening they will want to adopt it. Weaver explains that by giving up conventional counter-productive gardening practices an easier and more rewarding experience results turning the garden from a polluter and user of resources to a source or renewal.
After describing his involvement and evolution in ecological landscaping, Weaver presents a basic ecological vocabulary dealing with terms such as niche, microhabitat and r- and K- selected species. Moving on to design procedures he introduces site analysis based on ecological considerations, the creation of an ecologically connected master plan, and the development of a synergistic plant list. Next Weaver turns to planting the garden and emphasizes that planting is not the end of the design process which is actually a cooperative adventure between gardener and nature so goes on indefinitely. Many suggestions are given for developing and maintaining the garden over time including ideas for weed control, soil amendments, and watering. According to Weaver, the best weed control can be attained by understanding the weed’s life cycle and reproductive strategies, and irrigation systems and soil amendments are not needed if plants are selected so that their needs are met by the existing conditions. Weaver is realistic and gives directions for getting gardens off the a good start using existing traditional methods if necessary. Specific instructions are given for establishing meadow and praires, woodlands, and shrublands.
The great value of the book is looking at gardening in a new way that is grounded in ecological principles. He sees a garden as an ever-changing entity and rejoices in the changes that naturally occur. Instead of fighting nature to control it, he works with it and sees the beauty in the garden than results. The abundant photographs throughout the book show how pleasing these gardens are. If the movement towards ecologically sound gardening fully blossoms, a true revolution in gardening will have occurred and this book shows you how.
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