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Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  31 reviews
A leading landscape designer shows how an ecological approach can lead to beautiful gardens that benefit the environment--and require less time and money.

According to landscape designer Larry Weaner, conventional gardening is full of counter-intuitive, time-consuming, and even harmful habits. The constant tilling, weeding, irrigating, and fertilizing create perpetual distu
ebook, 328 pages
Published May 18th 2016 by Timber Press (OR)
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Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, diy, non-fiction, skimmed
This book is about large scale ornamental gardens and meadows, if you have a patio or a kitchen gardener it will be a fun read but not that useful. If you serious amounts of land though, this is the intelligent and lazy way of landscaping using natives and non-invasive imports. Some highlights:
* Don't dig up or enrich your soil unless it has man-made problems.
* Cut but don't uproot invasive weeds, they thrive in disturbed soil, they will die off once the natives are established.
* Plant natives w
Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the arc of Garden Revolution by Larry Weaner! The Evolving Landscape: Creating Beautiful Gardens in Harmony with Nature focuses on natural landscapes in large areas, such as meadows. The book contains beautiful photographs, and tips for naturalization, weeding, soil, maintenance and the evolution of plant spaces. I do not have huge areas for gardening as in this book, but the tips are very helpful for any gardener.
Susan Beecher
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be one of the most helpful books about landscape restoration that I have read. It is more about designing gardens with native plants but he talks a lot about his experiences in really "reading" what wants to grow in a particular place and starting from there. Highly recommend. ...more
I've read many of the popular and helpful books about ecological/naturalistic gardening (Tallamy, Rainer, Oudolf, etc) but I've found them either too simple or too theoretical. This was the first that helped me understand how to approach figuring out exactly how to make it work in my own garden. Weaner frequently works on a much larger scale than the average home gardener but the principles still apply. This book might be a bit overwhelming for a new gardener but if you're looking for something ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an absolute revelation. It's full of practical advice for returning landscapes to native plantings, while still retaining maximum aesthetic value and usability. I can't wait to get started applying some of the techniques in my own garden. ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: master-gardener
This is an important book. The subtitle, “How our landscapes can be a source of environmental change,” is the key to understanding the value of what’s written here – how we garden to change the environment using principles of sustainable landscaping. The author’s nod their heads to Rachel Carson as they espouse what they call ‘ecological gardening.’ They refer to this as using age-old laws of nature to inform a new way to garden.

An ecologically driven garden is one that has minimal intervention
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
This is the first gardening book I've read that has introduced the concept of time to garden planning. It's obvious that nature is constantly changing, but when we plan gardens we assume that they are static. The author proposes that we should welcome the changes/evolution of our gardens when they happen and that we can even encourage specific kinds of changes.

This is not the first book I'd recommend if you want to learn about native plant gardening (that's Tallamy's Bringing Nature Home: How N
This is my new favorite gardening book. I liked it so much, I read it twice. The book emphasizes the natural succession of area and ways to assist or reverse that succession.

The two key takeaways I took from the book are.
1. "If I do nothing, what will happen". Which, to me means, if the gardener makes no attempts to alter the landscape, what will naturally grow there? Also, aiding the gardener in developing an eye to survey the plants that are already successfully growing in an area and keeping
Kathy Averbeck
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
As we are planning our landscape for our new house currently being built, I decided to educate myself about how to create a more natural landscape that will be more environmentally friendly than the typical lawn and ornamental plantings that do nothing to sustain the "critters" that are the bottom of the food chain of the wildlife that is rapidly disappearing. A natural landscape is also easier to maintain. This book discussed a lot of considerations that I would not have known about, a lot that ...more
Jun 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, botany
Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change by Larry Weaner is a truly excellent book for helping you create native meadows, shrub lands and forest. ...more
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Turn your lawn or field into native prairie or woods--you decide. And Larry Weaner will tell you how to get there, no matter the current state of your land. And the end result will benefit the critters among us, and ultimately save our own world.

NOTE: if you plan to get there on your own, plan to spend a lot of time outside for a few years, but after that, instead of fighting nature you will nurture Nature and Nature will nurture you as well.
Lauren Csaki
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Game-changing. I’ve been reading a lot in this genre lately and this has been by far the best book I’ve read so far. Not just theory but real, practical advice, and interesting anecdotes sprinkled throughout. His method is fascinating, and though it’s compatible with so many related books which basically urge us to plant more natives, it goes way beyond that. Right after finishing I pretty much wanted to start reading it all over again! A lot to digest...
Jan 12, 2022 rated it really liked it
I love the philosophy throughout this book. Many gorgeous pictures helped illustrate the points. It’s not a plant database, and there really wasn’t much discussed about ecological interactions with insects, but for aesthetic landscape planning, it really hit the spot. Read this cover to cover, it’s not just a picture book.
Jodi Tooke
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The author provides extensive details and examples of how to partner with nature to nurture our landscapes. Interpreting your landscape as a song rather than a painting provides a more constructive model for ecologically-friendly gardening.
Mar 29, 2022 rated it really liked it
The main focus of this book isn't something I'll be able to implement anytime soon (basically the design and planting of large, open meadows) but I found the overall ecological philosophy and science really inspiring and helpful to small-scale gardening. ...more
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An inspiring book suggesting a more natural way to garden in larger spaces.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great reference for those wanting a garden without all the remediation that other garden books want you to do. Weaners premise is simple - work with what you have and be smart.
Anna Hargrave
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal. Explanations about native garden design beyond a list of plants, really gets to the hows/whys/using natural functionality instead of labor. Fantastic book!
Weeds will give up after three years if you just keep pulling them up. You dont have to get every piece of root. Hmmmm
Lynn Landry
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read for any gardener.
David Winston
Larry is a very knowledgeable guy in this field. Always something to learn from him
Oct 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Excellent resource - inspiring!
This book is well written and nicely illustrated. There are several fine issues discussed--I do believe that every single gardener needs to be an agent of environmental responsibility. However, the examples and illustrations are almost exclusively large scale (40 acres?!) and regionally from Pennsylvania. Chapters include designing meadows and creating woodlands: nice things but hardly useful to me in the Southwest, suburban on not. I believe the subtitle should reflect the seemingly narrow focu ...more
Using native plants is a big deal in gardening these days. I have been reading about native plants for about ten years now – Native Plants of the Northeast, by Donald J. Leopold, Wildflowers in Your Garden, by Viki Ferreniea, Landscaping with Native Trees, by Jim Wilson, and Bringing Nature Home, by Douglas Tallamy, to name a few of the excellent books I have found. Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants, by C. Colston Burrell, published by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, has been my go-to source f ...more
I love what Larry Weaner has to say about changing how we view landscapes and gardening. I'm fully on board with making gardening easier in the long run by paying attention to natural cycles and patterns, planting with succession in mind, etc. I would love to find a book with this same philosophy applied to ordinary suburban yards instead of just large properties with acreage, however, particularly focused on the Pacific NW instead of the New England NE.

Bottom line: I'm glad I stumbled across t
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book mentioned in an article in "Good Housekeeping" (magazine) and thought it looked interesting. It was interesting, but it read more like a textbook that they decided to put out in the mainstream.

Almost no information for suburban type gardeners, in spite of a few pictures. Almost all the information was on "landscape scale" gardening (think acreage).

Also, if you look on Goodreads for "Garden Revolution" you won't find it. Check out the disparity between the book cover and what Go
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gardening, nature
This book was well written, informative and had gorgeous pictures. What more can you ask for? I thought the author could have spent at little more time talking about why native plant gardening creates positive environmental change, but the reality is that most people who pick up this book are will already know enough about this and won't need to be convinced. The author has a lot of expertise to share. I hope he writes more books on the topic. The resources section has some good suggestions for ...more
Esther Marie
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, wishlist
This is definitely my philosophical/ideological wavelength. Really densely-packed with information and wonderful. Another reviewer commented that the book is "textbook-like" and that's accurate. This is not a light and fluffy gardening book.

Garden Revolution is appropriate for experienced gardeners looking for a paradigm shift and some practical advice as well as those who have academic or personal interest in ecology as it relates to garden planting, landscape design, and land management.
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: land-arch
5 stars isn't enough. Anyone with any access to land and an open mind about surpassing all the inefficiencies of horticulture as we know it should read this. Larry Weaner is to landscape design as Masanobu Fukuoka was to permaculture. Observe and do nothing before taking action. ...more
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like the idea of natural garden space...but the intense weeding for the first few years is a little off putting. My attempt at a small wildflower garden was a weed patch.
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