books for gardening a la native in Louziana

I just redid the “books” section of the home page and am reprinting here as a post. hope it is useful. This section hadn’t been touched since I first built the bones of this blog, almost two years ago. Hopefully I will get some time soon and add more. Au revoir, cher!

Some really good and necessary books are needed to begin to envision your own personal wildlife garden, weather its a postage stamp sized planting at the edge of a backyard patio or a 40 acre habitat restoration. Look into some of these and I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

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One of the best books for attracting wildlife and creating beauty with plants is Bill Fontenot’s pioneering how-to native garden book. First published in 1992, this nice, plump text provides a full serving of meaty information on our central gulf coast plants including natives and Louisiana-adaptable awesome specialty plants. Bill covers a range of additional subjects including design, planting and management, prairies, butterflies and birds and all of this with a very specific emphasis on local species diversity. Its a truly useful landscaping book. It is as relevant today as it was when it was first printed 20 + years ago. send 25$ to William Fontenot, 217 St Fidelis St. Carencro, La. 70520  http://thenaturedude.blogspot.com

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Three years later, in 1995, Charlotte Seidenberg produced this book, The Wildlife Garden: Planning  Backyard Habitats. It is another pioneering book that promotes the habitat island idea, whereby your native habitat garden becomes an oasis in an otherwise barren landscape. Great book!

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The Vascular Flora books for Louisiana are super helpful to those interested in further examination of the native species of Louisiana and the surrounding area. It very specifically maps the parishes where the plant has been recorded to exist and give a clear picture of how its distributed. This tells the botanist a good bit in a short time. I constantly use these.

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Extra cool and indispensable, Grasses of La.

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Malcolm F Vidrine’s twenty years of prairie research is packed into this great Louisiana prairie treatise. It is loaded with very important information for anyone doing back yard meadows or restoration work of any sort in Louisiana or beyond.

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The Charles Allen staple, also his Edible Plants books is his hottest, sales-wise.

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Jan Midgley’s career of propagation put into this very well done and very valuable text. I think its 20 or 25 dollars and worth every penny. click on the photo to enlarge and get Jan’s email to buy one. support your local folks. she’s local even though she’s in Birmingham. Its about the same there as here.

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a must for natural meadow buffs and restoration folks  who like to pump iron.

Louisiana Wildflower Guide

Charles Allen’s newest book was ten years in the making, has a really easy way built-in way for the wildflower novice to figure out what wildflower you’ve found. Amazing photographs. Excellent and very useful. I think its 30 dollars plus shipping  through his awesome website http://www.nativeventures.net

Charles can be reached at

Allen Native Ventures
5070 Highway 399
Pitkin, LA 70656
(337) 328-2252 native@camtel.net

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