Garden Allies: Discover the Many Ways Insects, Birds, and Other Animals Keep Your Garden Beautiful and Thriving

Frederique Lavoipierre. Timber, $24.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-64326-008-2
Lavoipierre, former director of education at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, focuses on “the pollinators, decomposers, and other organisms that are part of any thriving garden” in her impassioned and informative debut. Instead of viewing such creatures as enemies or pests, Lavoipierre encourages gardeners to accept them as part of the ecosystem and offers advice for creating an “ally-friendly” garden. She helps readers distinguish “good bugs” from “bad bugs” (“pests” are destructive, while pollinators are helpful) and offers information about earthworms, roly-polys, bees, and beetles. Fun facts abound: “over one-fifth of all living species on earth are beetles,” ambush bugs can capture prey over 10 times their size, and centipedes have odd-numbered feet and never 100 of them, despite their name. She also offers tips for plants that will help gardeners protect and care for butterflies, birds, and bats. Her accessible information comes with humor (Ichneumonid wasps are “not icky at all”), and her plea that gardeners appreciate the critters in their soil rings true: “it’s high time,” she writes, “to find new ways to garden and to contribute to the long-term sustainability of our human-managed landscapes.” Gardeners will walk away from this spirited advice finding creepy crawlers at least a bit more charming. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 03/30/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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