Book Review: Gardening with Native Plants of the South

In Fall 2008, I decided to convert our front yard lawn into a garden. Those of you who know me know how much I hate lawns. Lawns consist of alien grasses that support no biodiversity. They require watering, mowing, and fertilizing. Lawn mowers, both gas and electric, emit greenhouse hases. I absolutely cannot stand lawns.

In 2008, I set out to kill grass in our front yard. I laid down cardboard all over our front yard. I then spread mulch over them. A year later, the grass had died, and I had a front yard to replant with edible and native plants.

Gardening with Native Plants of the South by Sally Wasowski has been my constant companion since I began replanting my front yard with native plants. The book is well-organized, separating plants into multiple categories such as evergreen trees, deciduous trees, shrubs, groundcovers, vines, etc. Wasowski gives data for each plant such as native range, soil preference, companion plants, and wildlife that the plant attracts. Each plant is accompanied by a color photo.

My only beef with the book is that it is thin, containing plant data for a limited number of native plants. I wish in the future Wasowski will come out with a more comprehensive book about native plants of the South.

Despite this one minor shortcoming, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in native plant gardening in the South.


3 responses to “Book Review: Gardening with Native Plants of the South

  1. Thank you so much for your great review of Sally and Andy’s book!

  2. I’ve skimmed through this book before, it might contain the extensive information that you seek. It is available at the McMath Library.

    Identification selection and use of southern plants for landscape design / Neil Odenwald, James Turner.

  3. @ Taylor. No problem. If you know Sally and Andy, please thank them for a great book!

    @ Angela. I’ll check out the book. I’ll be attending Mid South Native Plant Conference this weekend. Hopefully, someone will be selling a copy of the book.

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