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Climate-Wise Landscaping (PDF)
Practical Actions for a Sustainable Future
Predictions about future effects of climate change range from mild to dire — but we're already seeing warmer winters, hotter summers, and more extreme storms. Proposed solutions often seem expensive and complex, and can leave us as individuals at a loss, wondering what, if anything, can be done.
Sue Reed and Ginny Stibolt offer a rallying cry in response — instead of wringing our hands, let's roll up our sleeves. Based on decades of experience, this book is packed with simple, practical steps anyone can take to beautify any landscape or garden, while helping protect the planet and the species that call it home. Topics include:
- Working actively to shrink our carbon footprint through mindful landscaping and gardening
- Creating cleaner air and water
- Increasing physical comfort during hotter seasons
- Supporting birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife.
This book is the ideal tool for homeowners, gardeners, and landscape professionals who want to be part of the solution to climate change.
Sue Reed is a registered Landscape Architect with thirty years' experience designing sustainable landscapes that are ecologically rich, energy efficient, and climate-responsive. Sue served for 14 years as adjunct faculty at the Conway School of Landscape Design and has led numerous workshops on the subject of ecological landscaping. Sue is the author of Energy-Wise Landscape Design, for which she also provided much of the photography.
Ginny Stibolt, has an MS degree in Botany from the University of Maryland, and moved to Florida in 2004. She has written 4 peer-reviewed books on gardening in Florida and hundreds of articles to educate Floridians on how to build sustainable landscapes.
"Home gardeners are already adjusting to the effects of climate change as the seasons trend warmer and storms become more extreme. This book aims to provide practical advice for proactive things to do to make gardens more sustainable while adjusting to the changes. Tackling topics including the lawn, trees and shrubs, soil, herbaceous plants, edible plants, and several more, the authors suggest specific actions that can be implemented à la carte in existing gardens or while planning for new spaces. Many of them will sound familiar (stop using pesticides, reduce irrigation, replace plants that no longer favor your region with those that are adaptable to changing conditions), but the volume of information here is impressive, and each action is accompanied by an explanation of why it's important. In addition to addressing existing challenges, many suggestions also aim to minimize potential damage from fire, flood, and storm. This wealth of information is divided into manageable chunks, making the book useful whether read cover-to- cover or dipped into for specific topics."
Ann Heidemann, Booklist Review
"Sue Reed and Ginny Stibolt bring complementary backgrounds to bear on the subject of how we can adapt our landscapes to a changing climate. Starting from the premise that the impacts of climate change will only become more severe in the future, the authors have created a comprehensive book that outlines dozens of actions that people can take to adjust to evolving climate regimes. In the process, they articulate a new gardening aesthetic for people who work with small garden plots, farms and woodlots. The result is a positive and hopeful story of how people can use their imagination and ingenuity to help craft more resilient landscapes."
Dr. Peter Robinson, former CEO, David Suzuki Foundation
"Climate-Wise Landscaping is a comprehensive, yet easy to read, source of information on climate-change adaptation and mitigation actions for the homeowner, gardener, and landscape professional. Beautiful photos and pleasing graphics illustrate key ideas and actions while informative sidebars and inspiring quotes from climate and landscape experts provide clarity of complex systems and motivation to adapt to a changing future. The text provides an engaging blend of broad ideas along with specific actions we can take to adapt to climate-change at the level of our home landscapes, whether a small garden plot within an urban area or twenty acres in the countryside."
Julie Richburg, Ph.D., Ecologist
"Given the lateness of the hour, a book on climate-wise landscaping could not be more timely or more necessary. We are moving into a new and critical era, and this book takes landscape professionals and home gardeners where they need to go. The facts, well-presented and practical, will be an eye-opener for many people, and empower us as horticulturists of all stripes to do what is both helpful and imperative. Landscaping has always been more than just exterior decorating, and now we have one more tool in our kit to make the landscape ecosystem a part of the solution. Thank you, Sue and Ginny, for hitting a home run."
Owen Dell RLA, ASLA, landscape architect, educator, author, Owen Dell & Associates
"Gardening is not always as green and good for the planet as we might think. Sue Reed and Ginny Stibolt open our eyes to surprisingly common, unsustainable landscaping practices and inspire us to rethink how we create and care for land. This fantastic resource is filled with climate-wise solutions for anyone who owns or manages a piece of ground – even if it's just a few containers on a tiny rooftop garden. You will quickly learn about exiting ways to offset some of the effects we people have on the planet. The book is easy to navigate and it passionately links better gardening practices with better life quality and a brighter future for our planet."
Claudia West ASLA, Principal, PHYTO STUDIO LLC
"The authors of this book provide a comprehensive approach to designing landscapes that have the potential of being both environmentally sound and experientially rich. I applaud them in doing the extensive research, backed up by their own professional expertise and experience, in creating this very useful guide to designing landscapes for the 21st Century which clearly respond to our changing climate."
Darrel Morrison, Honorary Associate Faculty Member in Landscape Architecture University of Wisconsin-Madison
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