Ryrie, C. 2003. Wildlife Gardening. London, Cassell Illustrated. ISBN 1 84403 035 0.
Hardback. 20.5x27cm. 192 pages.
The first thing that surprised me about this book was the fact that before my mother-in-law bought it for me, I had never heard of it. It doesn't seem to have been quite as widely reviewed as some other recent books; perhaps because as a member of 'The Daily Telegraph' series of gardening books, enough publicity was generated through that avenue.
In any case the book certainly deserves a wider audience because I found it to be one of the best books on the subject I have read
the book certainly deserves a wider audience because I found it to be one of the best books on the subject I have read. As a general and comprehensive introduction to the subject, it ranks close to Chris Baines' How to Make a Wildlife Garden
. The photographs in the book are of particularly high quality and they are matched by the standard of the writing.
The latter chapters of the book are split along habitat lines as is commonly done in wildlife gardening books: 'Hedges thickets and vertical cover'; 'Flowery meadows and lawns'; 'Ponds and wetlands'; and 'Woodland and shrubs'. I particularly liked the first four chapters where I felt the author's own ideas and experience were most apparent
I particularly liked the first four chapters where I felt the author's own ideas and experience were most apparent: 'First priciples'; 'Garden management'; 'Borders and beds'; and 'Small and wild'. The book ends with a chapter called 'Added extras', which is about providing shelters and feeding stations.
All in all, this book is a good choice if you are looking for an introduction to why and how you can make the most of your garden for wildlife, whatever type of garden it is.