Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So Many Books, So Little Time

Because of requests, I'm sharing with you some of the books I purchased this weekend at the Wildflower Conference.

As I've stated before, I am an unabashed bibliophile.  New books, old books...I love 'em all.  Many (if not most) of my books are of an outdoor subject:  natural history, gardening, etc.  So, as you can imagine, books for sale at a plant conference are to me like red is to hummingbirds - I can't resist and must zoom in for a closer look!

Here are the six that came home with me. 

First up, in the Gardening and Landscaping category, we have Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan (it's all about going native these days), Energy-wise Landscape Design (how to make your house more energy efficient with the proper landscape around your abode), and The Climate Conscious Gardener (the editor of which was one of our keynote speakers - very good).

Then, in the Natural History category, we have The Michigan Roadside Naturalist (to aid me in my explorations this summer), A Guide to Wildflowers in Winter (I have Weeds in Winter, but this looked like a good supplement to that), and the one that I think will become my favorite of this batch:  Attracting Native Pollinators.

Now, I should explain that I'm loving this book not so much because it is how to plant gardens (et al) to attract butterflies and bees, but because it has superb photographs of our native bees and terrific descriptions of them and their habits.

This is a terrific thing because a) honey bees, while important to our crops, are not native, b) honey bee populations are in a downward spiral, c) there are lots of native bees that are also very important pollinators, and d) their populations are not doing well, either, mostly because we have supplanted their preferred food sources (native plants) with horticultural varieties, non-native ornamentals, agricultural products that are genetically modified to kill insects or to not need insects for pollination, and the ever-increasing conversion of native habitats to monocultures of lawns and concrete.  Therefore, it behooves us to not only learn about our native bees, but also how to encourage their proliferation and their presence in our lives.

And this comes from someone who grew up petrified of bees.  Bees are important; native bees are even more so.  Get to know them.  Get to know how to help them.


  1. They look like great books, but I'm so cheap I never buy new books!

  2. I didn't know that honey bees weren't native! That looks like a great book to have.

  3. I'm almost tempted to come home to Michigan and explore the local roadsides with you. Thanks for putting in a good word for native bees.

  4. Nice. That last one looks really helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Have you seen "Key to American Insect Galls (1917) by Ephraim Porter Felt? I'm sure it is out of date but it at least gives a good start on indentifying galls. The one I bought is from Kessinger Publishing and the ISBN is ISBN 1120307872. He has a much larger book that is more expensive but this one is just a key. I haven't used it yet but it is by plant type with great photos of the galls. Check it out if you haven't already. Squirrel

  6. Squirrel - why yes I have. In fact, I blogged it a few blogs back...Maybe in January? I just got it then and had to share it. Good book. :)