Condon, M. A. 2006. The Nature-Friendly Garden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife, and People. Mechanicsburg PA, Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3261-1.
Paperback. 17x24cm. 150 pages.
Reviewed by Teresa Leech
CHAPTER 1. UNDERSTANDING NATURAL PROCESSES.
CHAPTER 2. PLANNING YOUR GARDEN.
CHAPTER 3. ALLOWING YOUR GARDEN TO WORK FOR YOU.
These chapters are a wonderful insight into the whys and wherefores of nature at it's best. They cover all aspects of the cycle of dependency, predators and prey. The book describes how using pesticides works against you by disturbing the cycle of dependency and hindering the balance of your gardenThe book describes how using pesticides works against you by disturbing the cycle of dependency and hindering the balance of your garden. We need insects for pollination and they, in turn, are eaten by birds, frogs etc. We also need to look at how creatures fulfil their role in nature, coping with different soils, light levels etc. There is excellent advice on planting to attract wildlife and a long list of plants to useThere is excellent advice on planting to attract wildlife and a long list of plants to use. It's about getting the garden to work with and not against you, instead of spraying everything in sight with pesticides and herbicides. You don't need to weed all your garden: let a piece go native and this, in turn, will attract insects, hedgehogs, and birds to feed in and around your garden.
CHAPTER 4. FEEDING AND SHELTERING WILDLIFE.
CHAPTER 5. PROVIDING WATER FOR WILDLIFE.
CHAPTER 6. ACCEPTING PREDATORS.
CHAPTER 7. OBSERVING WILDLIFE.
These chapters contain a wealth of information on keeping wildlife once you have attracted it!These chapters contain a wealth of information on keeping wildlife once you have attracted it! It describes how the author had to learn to live with American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus) Virginian Opossums (Didelphis Virginiana) , Raccoons (Procyon Lotor), Groundhogs (Marmota Monax) and Deer Mouse (Peromyscus Maniculatus), to name but a few. It describes the link between their digging and the aeration of the soil and other benefits to the balance of the garden. Water is essential for all life forms and this book tells all about the how, what, where and when of water in the garden. The book talks about how nature culls wildlife to the point that we are not overrun with one sort of wildlife and short of another.
CHAPTER 8. RECORDING YOUR OBSERVATIONS.
This chapter deals with seeing, recognizing and cataloguing what we are see. By being able to recognize and differentiate between the species, we can work out who does what and why. By observation we can learn to see the advantages and disadvantages of the species at workBy observation we can learn to see the advantages and disadvantages of the species at work.
CHAPTERS 9. COEXISTING WITH WILDLIFE.
This chapter gives good advice on how to get your yard/garden ready and functioning. It talks about protecting nature and going with the flow rather than trying to stop nature and learn how to improve on it - working with nature instead of against it. It describes how aphids are eaten by caterpillars and ladybirds who, in turn, are eaten by birds, frogs etc.
CHAPTER 10. ACCESSIBLE GARDENING.
In this chapter we learn how therapeutic gardening can be, helping to distract your mind from your troubles, and helping you to relax and just gaze in wonder at nature at workwe learn how therapeutic gardening can be, helping to distract your mind from your troubles, and helping you to relax and just gaze in wonder at nature at work. It talks about using good gardening practices like bending your knees and using your thigh muscles instead of your back muscles that are more prone to injury. There are simple tips like gardening after rain it is a lot easier because the earth is soft and weeds are easier to pull out.
CHAPTER 11. THE HEALING GARDEN.
I found this chapter good in parts, as it explains how life goes on regardless and how nature can heal those around us. Gardening is used by many institutions to combat things from illness to true disabilities and providing tranquility in a hectic world: somewhere to sit and watch all God's creatures.
This is just the authors personal views on how the world can benefit from less mowing, weeding, and more sowing and feeding.
My Final thoughts: a bible for the uninitiated on 'wildlife gardening'. And for those of us who think we know it alla bible for the uninitiated on 'wildlife gardening'. And for those of us who think we know it all! It does no harm to be reminded. It is a touch repetitive in parts and I would recommend you try it from your local library, before parting with your sponduliks. It is aimed more at the American market, but wildlife is the same (virtually) the world over. Enjoy.