5 Good Books for Nature's Sturdy Bookshelf

Some of us are snowbirds in winter, but I am more of a book bird. To the extent that winter forces me indoors, I fly across the room to my bookshelf. Here’s a sample of recent books on ecology, land care, trees, and plants that I’ve found useful, informative, and entertaining. See the complete reviews at Zip06/TheDay

This is Douglas Tallamy's fourth book on home landscape ecology. In my opinion, it is his most engaging yet. Go to Tallamy's backyard, where we learn about the complex and productive world of oaks. Save an oak!


Public interest in native plants is more significant than ever, and this book aims to help us select ones that can overcome the mighty Bambi. From my work as a landscape designer, I know that few resources name deer-resistant native plants exclusively. This is a good addition to the bookshelf. 

Grasses lack flowers’ signature colors and forms, and to many people, grasses seem “all alike.” Nothing could be further from the truth. 

In 2020, two New England experts teamed up to help northeasterners increase our grass-savvy. Brown and Elliman’s book explores 141 relatively common species found in 17 northeastern states. 

Dr. Suzanne Simard’s remarkable research on chemical and nutrient transfers among forest trees has changed the way we think about trees and forests. If you are intrigued by the idea of “mother trees,” there is no one better qualified than Simard to explain her journey, and to separate the science from the fantasy. Winner of a National Outdoor Book Awards, 2021.

Woodchips are just about my favorite method for preparing overgrown landscape sites. This research-based book increased my understanding of woodchip’s useful role in site preparation and provided insight into the value of woodchips in farming and soil restoration. This is a book for those who are deeply interested in soil health, recycling, an innovative methods of site preparation. 

See the complete reviews at Zip06/TheDay