• RRP: £25.00
  • You Save: £3.48 (14%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Trade in your item
Get a £3.06
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
£12.25 £18.99

Frequently Bought Together

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden + The Wild Garden
Price For Both: £38.54

Buy the selected items together

Earn a Free Kindle Book
Earn a Free Kindle Book
Buy a book between now and 31 March and receive a promotional code good for one free Kindle book. Terms and conditions apply. Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604694084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604694086
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 3 x 26.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"This collaboration is beautifully executed."--Ellen Honeycutt "Georgia Native Plants "

About the Author

Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer based in Pennsylvania. His specialism is the creation and conservation of liveable landscapes and his work has been featured in the New York Times. Douglas Tallamy is professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he seeks to better understand the many ways insects interact. He won the Silver Medal from the Garden Writer's Association for his book, 'Bringing Nature Home'.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By nwl on 14 Sep 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The polemics here are so very overwhelming that at times they override evidence, or even logic. This is unfortunate. The book is really satisfactory in some ways, and does have something valuable to say, if only its intolerant attitude didn't bring almost everything in question.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
An Important Addition to Works on Native Gardening 18 Jun 2014
By Ginger Woolridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Living Landscape is an important addition to the works on native gardening. The collaboration between Darke, a knowledgeable plantsman and designer of natural landscapes and Tallamy, an entomologist with a terrific understanding of ecosystems, is an excellent pairing.

I trained as a landscape architect and have been frustrated by the gap between conservation theory at the university level and practical applications that could be helpful to the homeowner who desires a healthy landscape.

The book takes one past the concept of reducing one's lawn to real examples of space planning and the use of plants to support diversity. Tallamy's first book, "Bringing Nature Home", made the critical link between the survival our native bird population and available insect protein for fledgling birds. Native insects have, of course, co evolved with native plants and primarily, require our native plants to survive. So there is a very important link between the native plants and our native bird populations. He makes the equally important point that homeowners can help bring back diminishing bird populations.

The book is thoughtfully structured around design principles and ecological function. Observations of "Layers" in the wild landscape, including topics like the canopy, understory, waters edge and so on, are discussed relative to layers within the home garden. "The Art of Observation" is educational too. Significantly, among other valuable observations, Tallamy points out the importance of interrelationships of organisms, ecological function and ecological benefits for humans as well as wildlife, and the critical role of biological corridors.

Yes, the book primarily approaches the larger suburban property, but it's principles are important to consider at any scale. Several properties are discussed. I found the authors' observations of their properties over time to be valuable.

An important gift of The Living Landscape is to empower the important and even urgent work of the property owner with a framework. This book does not cover all of the details, but landscape are complicated. There is a helpful list of the benefits of various plants in the book.

Given the triple threat of habitat fragmentation, overpopulation of deer and invasive plants crowding out our natives, this is a well-timed publication, so thanks for your work, gentlemen.

As I write this review, The Living Landscape is no. 1 of Amazon's Landscape Architecture titles. I will recommend and gift this book to landscape designers and home gardeners.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Inspiration and strategies for creating a living landscape 17 Jun 2014
By Janet Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Doug Tallamy's book Bringing Nature Home since it was published. It changed the way I thought about the plants in my yard and has guided my choice of plants. I've been looking forward to this new book since I heard that it was being written. Finally a "how-to" book for creating the entire landscape, not just the individual plants within it! But as the introduction says, "It is not a how-to book." And after all, given the diversity of people's yards and personal preferences, a cookbook approach could hardly work.

Instead, it "aims to provide readers with inspiration and strategies for making and maintaining truly living landscapes..." In this it has succeeded. It has given me many new ideas to think about, has provided many images of the natural world as well as home landscapes to serve as guides, and has strengthened my understanding of the importance of what we do with our own yards.

I happen to live in the ecoregion pictured in the book, so it's especially useful for me, but plant lists are provided for each region in the country and indicate both the ecological and landscape functions of each plant. (Even so, it might not be as useful for someone in the Southwest, since it's so different from the examples used throughout the book.)

Like Bringing Nature Home, this book has further extended my thinking about my home landscaping, and I highly recommend it.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic follow up to Bringing Nature home 28 Jun 2014
By Jim Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard Douglas Tallamy speak at the Native Plants Conference this Spring, and I've been eagerly awaiting his new book since.

As a professional gardener at a top US Japanese garden, as well the writer of a garden blog focused on creating your garden sanctuary, I don't grow only native plants. In fact long ago, I was one of those turned off by the whole native plant movement.

I have gradually over the years been turned into a convert. I now fully recognize the value of native plants in the landscape. It was Doug's monumentally important book Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded that solidified my evolving views of how and why I should be pursuing my career and calling.

His new book is lives up to his last.

"The Living Landscape" is more of a continuation of "Bringing Nature Home" than a replacement for it.

If his first book made the case for using native plants in the landscape, this book shows you how in a general sense. This is not a "paint by number book" for creating a native landscape, but it is a broad and detailed covering of how and why it can be done. This also is not a dumb down book for the beginning gardener. By the same token, I can't imagine a better first book for someone looking to begin landscaping their home to read.

I recommend it without reservation.

Doug's coauthor, Rick Darke (author of "The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest") brings not only his writing voice but also his excellent photography. Don't get me wrong this is a heady book with some pretty in depth concepts, but it also features an abundance of beautiful pictures. So much in fact, it almost qualifies as a Coffee table book.

Chapter 1 - Layers in the Wild Landscapes - This 74 page chapter covers looking at wild landscapes through the view of the different layers in the garden. Not only the vertical layers of the woodland but also horizontal layers where different landscape types meet and layers through time. It was a ironic that the day I posted a blog post on layers in the woodland, that I received this book in the mail that explained the concept I was trying to communicate in a more in depth way.

Chapter 2 - The Community of Living Organisms - This 15 page chapters basically sums up most of the important concepts of the 1st half of "Bringing Nature Home". It will be a worthwhile review for those who have read that book, while readers who have not should read it slowly and take in the important message it presents.

Chapter 3 - The Ecological functions of the Garden - 11 pages. Another short but important chapter. It helps to broaden our view of how our landscapes can provide benefits other than just looking pretty. It covers topics such as species conservation, carbon sequestration, moderating temperature, watershed protection, air filtration, etc.

Chapter 4 - The Art of Observation - This 10 page chapter could be better in my mind. I like the color examples given, but I feel more depth and breadth of this topic could be covered. It is still worthwhile to most readers.

Chapter 5 - Applying Layers to the Home Garden - This massive 156 page chapter is the meat of the book for people wanting examples on how the concepts in the book apply to their landscapes. There are lots of examples and beautiful pictures of applying the information in the 1st chapter on Layers especially to the author's landscapes. Again, it does NOT give Step by Step instructions so some people may be disappointed here. There is enough meat in the examples, that practical advice can be extracted and applied to your landscape. It may take a bit of study though.

The last part of the book may be the most helpful for some people. It includes a listing of plants and their different benefits and uses by region in the US. The Regions are Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest and Mountain states, Pacific Northwest, and New England. These lists mostly cover natives, but some include exotic plants mainly to point out those that provide little value to our ecosystems. Overall the lists are good but I have a few comments about specific regions.

Mid-Atlantic - This is the only one that is personally done by the authors. The other regions were written by other experts. This region gets the most detail and if I lived in this region I would be thrilled by the detail of this list.

Midwest and Mountain states (hmm, Indiana and Colorado has same plant list?) - This list was written by an author of a book on Ohio birds. It looks pretty accurate and detailed for those of us in the Midwest. I am not quite so sure I would be happy with this information if I lived in the Mountain states.

Overall this is a fantastic follow up to Bringing Nature home. It definitely stands on it's own. If it is viewed as an extension of that book, it is a lovely and worthwhile addition to any gardener or landscaper, or just anyone interested in preserving our living landscape.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Inspirational 28 Jun 2014
By E. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a Landscape Architect and garden designer in the SE US for 35 years now. This book should not only change the way we think about designing our gardens but how we think about our role in forming them. I especially like Chapter 4 "The Art of Observation". Thanks to the authors/editors for including a quick reference chart illustrating the ecological functions of several native plants for the SE (by Dr Larry Mellichamp). I will recommend this book to all my future garden design students.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Landscape We Can Live In 21 July 2014
By Mystery Gardener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A comprehensive and highly readable guide to changing the way we look at and treat our gardens--not as an extension of our house, but as an extension of the environment of our area. Instead of a "butterfly garden" and a bird house and bird bath plunked into the typical garden, the authors offer a rationale and a path for transforming our too often just-for-show gardens into gardens that provide beauty for us as well as place for nature to flourish. The final goal is not just an area for bees and birds and butterflies to flourish, but for us to flourish as well.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know