Nature's Best Hope Summary (Illustrated!)
One of my favorite books I've read is Nature's Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy.
It is the most hopeful and inspiring book I've ever read, and it got me excited and interested in planting native plants, not just because they grow beautifully here with little added water or inputs, but also to help feed the bees and the birds and all wildlife.
Before reading this book, I was an organic gardener, but I never thought of a caterpillar as baby bird food, I generally thought of them as pests as I was taught for most of my life. I didn't use pesticides as I figured they are bad for your health, and bad for the environment and wildlife, but I would occasionally simply collect and squish pests on my vegetable plants as I saw them. But, now I see a baby caterpillar on my cabbage, I now know that the birds raising their young would love to eat it. For example, did you know that Chick-a-dees feed their young 350-750 caterpillars A DAY? Incredible! Who knew that those soft little green buggers were the perfect baby bird food?
Because of reading this book, now I see caterpillars, aphids and other pests as not only ok to see in your garden, but they are actually GOOD to see! Afterall, if you leave the pests to feed the pest control, they'll help you keep pests in check. If you poison the pests, then you poison your pest control too, so things only get worse. And I've always figured, having a little pest damage on your veggies only means that they are free of poison. Personally, I'd rather eat an aphid on a lettuce leaf than worry about ingesting cancer-causing pesticides and chemicals. And, it makes me happy that any insects I see in my garden are food for the birds! So all life belongs. Anyway, while reading the book, I was so inspired that I took notes (with lots of doodles, of course) to capture some of the most amazing facts and information about native plants, pollinators and birds.
From my notes and doodles from Nature's Best Hope, I am working on a visual summary, an infographic as they are sometimes called, to show a lot of the great info in the book in a visual way. Stay tuned! For all of those who don't read books (though this one is highly recommended, even my husband enjoyed it and he's not a huge book reader unless it's about a topic he's interested in), my Visual Summary of Nature's Best Hope will be a fast way to learn more about how we can all make a difference simply planting native plants in our landscapes, patio pots, schools, parkways, parks, churches, libraries... you name it! We can create the largest Homegrown National Park to patchwork together habitat for pollinators and wildlife as well as people - as we can enjoy nature in our own backyards. :)
Here are some closeups of my visual Summary notes I took while reading Nature's Best Hope.
I'm working on a more polished version of this visual summary, so stay tuned for shareable infographics and posters to come! Reach out to me if you have any questions or requests. See some of my other posters and environmental infographics »
If you'd like to share any of these images, please reach out to me and ask for permission, I'm happy to have them shared!
If you haven't read Nature's Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy, make sure to pick one up at your local library. It's the antidote to environmental despair, and will get you very excited to plant native plants to feed wildlife in your own neck of the woods. It also will get you excited to see every insect in your garden, as it opens your eyes to the wonderful world of urban wildlife around your home. Happy reading and planting!