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Book Review: Pollinator Gardening for the South

Having had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by the two authors (Danesha Seth Carley and Anne M. Spafford) at the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference in July, I was eager to purchase their 152-page paperback book, which was published last year by the University of North Carolina Press. I was not disappointed. The first two chapters of the book make the case for the importance of non-native honey bees, native bees, and other pollinators to natural ecosystems and humankind. Plant-pollinator interactions are covered in the third chapter. The next two chapters address pollinator garden design, preparation, and implementation. These two chapters alone were worth the price of the book for me. I particularly liked the landscape design tips the authors provide to create pollinator habitat that not only meet pollinator nutritional needs but also enhance the beauty of any landscape. The book ends with a chapter showing how pollinator habitat of various sizes can be incorporated into many different locations including patio containers, city parkways, small courtyards, residential landscapes, and public spaces. Lawns, which are virtual dead zones for native pollinators, cover 40 million acres in the U.S. (approximately the size of Texas). Converting lawns to pollinator habitat could go a long way toward recovering declining pollinator populations. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in creating a pollinator garden, especially those seeking information about designing landscapes for pollinators and other native species.

-Lawrence Rozas

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