welcome to real gardens grow natives



“Supplies all but the sunshine.”  — Eugene Register Guard

“In our own gardens, we can contribute to the health of our planet’s biodiversity by following this book’s lead.”  — Bellingham Herald

“A common-sense approach to rewilding.”  — Seattle Times | Pacific NW Magazine

More nice things people say …



With an ecological perspective and an unwavering tenacity, REAL GARDENS GROW NATIVES
: DESIGN, PLANT, AND ENJOY A HEALTHY NORTHWEST GARDEN informs, captivates, and compels us to turn our conventional yards into beautiful, functional landscapes that give back to the diverse community of life that thrived there not long ago.

Real Gardens Grow Natives

Our growing population isn’t leaving much room for other species. One way to improve our relationship with the earth is to allow other species their survival necessities, and the most straightforward
way to do that is by growing plants that are indigenous members of the local ecosystem.

Why use native plants? Native species—especially when grown in natural plant communities—are the foundation of the food web. They support drastically more insect biomass than nonnatives, and provide other essentials for the wild creatures that built an evolutionary partnership with them eons ago. While we’re doing such crucial conservation work, we’ll be doing ourselves a favor as well, because native plants are low maintenance, often drought tolerant, and easily compete with the beauty of exotic plants. Fall in love with some of the most gorgeous plants in the world, right here in the Pacific Northwest!

Published by Mountaineers Books, REAL GARDENS GROW NATIVES leads us along the design path—from conception to implementation—with interesting stops along the way. Within the book are all the tools needed to plan a “real” garden west of the Cascades (or simply add a few native species to an existing garden), including:

* Landscape design guidance for various-sized yards, including sample plans

* Ways to enhance habitat and preserve biological diversity

* Detailed descriptions and stunning photographs of 100 of the most garden-worthy Pacific Northwest indigenous plants (plus related species) that help simplify plant choice and arrangement

* Tips on nurturing and sustaining healthy soil

* Organic techniques that keep a garden vibrant and lively

* Propagation methods for native plants

* And much more!

Take a peek at the book’s Table of Contents.


The book’s author and main photographer, Eileen M. Stark, is a conservationist, photographer, avid gardener and landscape designer who provides consulting and design services for homeowners, schools, and businesses that seek low maintenance and wildlife friendly landscapes. Check out her blog.


Get your copy of REAL GARDENS GROW NATIVES today at your local book or garden store, or online. Or, borrow one from your local library.


A portion of net profits is gladly donated to The Xerces Society.

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