Community Eco-Gardens

Landscaping with Native Plants

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About the Book

   Part how-to, part personal narrative, this book provides a practical guide for creating native-species ecogardens. It chronicles the author’s 20-year journey of environmental awakening. With the help of the greater community, a neglected five-acre condominium landscape is transformed into a stunning range of multi-seasonal prairie, woodland and wetland micro-habitats. This illustrated account describes the process of ecological reconciliation and traces his discovery of the higher self along the way.

About the Author(s)

Dennis Swiftdeer Paige is an environmental educator and native landscaper. The winner of several awards in native landscaping and habitat preservation, he lives in Conifer, Colorado.

Bibliographic Details

Dennis Swiftdeer Paige
Foreword by Douglas W. Tallamy
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: 90 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8301-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4088-4
Imprint: Toplight Books

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Foreword by Douglas W. Tallamy 1
Preface 5
1. Layering the Foundation 9
2. What’s Done Can Be Undone 21
3. Bringing a Vision Home 32
4. Feel the Berm 46
5. Little Jurassic Parks and the Spread of Native Rain Gardens 61
6. Relating Trees to a Sense of Place 76
7. Creating a Bioswale and Woodland Grove with Mother Earth’s Blessings 89
8. Way Over My Head and Body 119
9. Rescuing Nature and Friendships 122
10. Incongruous Entranceway Landscapes Receive Native Facelifts 125
11. Shady Woodland Wonders Replace the Barren Scotch Pines 141
12. If You Build ­Micro-Habitats, They Will Come 150
13. Stewards of the Land Are Still an Endangered Species 165
14. Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due 169
15. Lessons in Not Becoming Disheartened 173
16. Fueling Other Minds to Go Native 178
17. Eyes of the Beholder 182
18. Passing the Torch and Shovel 185
Epilogue: Catchers in the Rye 190
Appendix A: Town Square Condominium Native Plant Introduction List (1996–2015) 201
Appendix B: Workable Guidelines for Creating ­Eco-Gardens and ­Micro-Habitats 210
Appendix C: Where to Buy Native Plants 212
Chapter Notes 213
Bibliography 217
Index 219

Book Reviews & Awards

“In Community Eco-Gardens, Dennis Paige asks us to re-evaluate our infrastructural aesthetic and grow to appreciate, find comely, and grow to love a diversity of free-living forms and arrays. He suggests we create places where it is not the specific plant we insert in the ground that matters, but the spawn of those plants that, with others and care, coalesce over time to produce a beautiful, healthful community of plants and animals. He proposes that a world of natural beauty and healthy soil, loved and intimately cared for, can once again allow the land to drink from the heavens, nurture life that bears tomorrows, and embed us again living beauty. If we take seriously Dennis’s proposal our souls could learn to cleave to life and creation and our posterity might yet have another chance at Eden.”—Gerould Wilhelm, Director of Research, Conservation Research Institute, Lombard, Illinois.