Go from manicured lawn to eco-conscious garden with this step-by-step guide from HGTV star John Gidding.
Increased awareness of the environment and an ever-present interest in curb appeal means that homeowners are eager for more sustainable, natural landscaping. And why shouldn’t they be? In addition to supporting local flora and fauna, ditching grass for lush, native plants helps lower water bills and results in self-sustaining gardens long-term. In John Gidding’s At Home with Nature, American homeowners will find thorough blueprints to reap these benefits and bring their dream garden to life.
Complete with specific information for every U.S. bioregion, a glossary of native plants, illustrated yard renderings and photos, and detailed explanations of suburban codes, this book has examples and techniques to build responsible natural spaces. And as an HGTV star with over a decade of design experience, Gidding is the landscaping expert readers need to get the job done. At Home with Nature is the ultimate resource for creating beautiful and beneficial home gardens.
Gidding, the host of HGTV's Curb Appeal Xtreme, debuts with a rewarding guide to eco-friendly landscaping. Environmental health "depends upon our capacity to adopt responsible strategies of landscape design, allowing a mix of spaces for people and wildlife, without taxing limited resources," contends Gidding, and to that end he advocates for using indigenous flora and emulating nature when landscaping. He criticizes grass lawns as ecologically irresponsible because they consume "30% of America's precious drinking water" and promote harmful pesticide use. As an alternative, Gidding outlines his "sylvan design" philosophy that takes inspiration from the asymmetry of the natural world and encourages readers to use a mixture of native shrubs, trees, and ground cover. He details six sample blueprints for what lawns in different regions of the U.S. might look like and lists plants that thrive in each region, noting that Pacific rhododendron grow quickly and are well suited to the Northwest while sugarberry trees in the Midwest attract birds with their date-like fruit. Recommendations to completely overhaul grass lawns mean that novice gardeners might feel overwhelmed, but those ready to take the plunge will appreciate the helpful tips, including a thorough breakdown of how to draw a site plan. Readers looking to upgrade their yards while making them more sustainable will find this to be a great starting point.