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UDaily: New book promotes plant functionality as priority in landscapes

UDaily: New book promotes plant functionality as priority in landscapes

Rather than being designed simply for aesthetic beauty, home gardens need to be livable, layered, and functional in order to support viable food webs, according to the new book The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden by the University of Delaware’s Doug Tallamy and Rick Darke, a UD graduate and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Distinguished Alumnus and landscape consultant who spent years as curator of plants at Longwood Gardens.

The book is published by Timber Press and while it is not a simple step-by-step instruction manual, it does lead readers through the process of designing and building a beautiful, enjoyable, layered garden that also supports wildlife.

“This is not a ‘how to’ book, but it is chock full of example pictures. Rick spends a lot of time discussing how he transformed his property into a living landscape, so there are techniques to be learned,” said Tallamy, professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology. “We talk about the things you need to accomplish to bring life to your yard. Not landscape designs because those are site-specific personal choices. Instead, we talk about how and why to create a layered landscape, and how to create the vertical plant layers that most people have not thought about in the past but are so important to breeding birds.” 

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