Interview with Dr. Doug Tallamy, Author of Bringing Nature Home
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Doug Tallamy at his home. Doug is the author of Bringing Nature Home: How you Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants, a book which has sparked a new cycle of enthusiasm for native plants and ecological landscapes. Doug is Professor & Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, and has particular expertise in Lepidoptera (butterflies, skippers, and moths).
If you have not read Doug’s book, I hope that this interview will prompt you to buy a copy, plus a few copies as holiday gifts for your friends and family members. Bringing Nature Home is a wonderful companion to Sara Stein’s 1993 book, Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards. Both of these treasures helped open our eyes to the critical connections between our landscapes and the living creatures around us.
If you have followed my blog or heard me speak, you know that I say “every landscape matters, every plant choice matters.” Doug’s book makes that case very clearly, highlighting the food web of caterpillars, the plants that they eat, and the predators that eat them. Who knew that caterpillars could be so fascinating? You don’t have to be an entomologist to get caught up in the compelling ecological story that Doug shares.
One important fact that Doug cites in his book is: 96% of all terrestrial birds feed insects to their young. What better reason to eliminate (or at least extremely reduce) the use of pesticides in our landscapes? This single fact, by itself, has likely motivated thousands of readers to rethink the use of “secret sauce” (my lingo for pesticides). Do we really need perfect green lawns loaded with secret sauce or do we want life in our landscapes, sharing our world with songbirds and other wonderful critters?
Part 1 of my interview with Doug was taped in his backyard as we chatted about his book and his philosophy. Doug’s landscape serves as a compelling example of why we need to rethink our traditional gardening practices – there is life everywhere – under leaves, along plant stems, within the leaf litter, and so on.
Enjoy the first video, share with your friends and family, and then join me for subsequent video clips when Doug and I explore the “nooks and crannies” of his landscape, all filled with life.
Thanks for joining us!
from Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!
More from EcoBlog
When you are looking to buy native plants, it can still feel like the search for the Holy Grail. Take the time and effort to seek out local native nurseries that grow the regional native plants you want and that healthy ecosystems need. Skip the big box stores, and support…Read More
While meeting with a client who knows nothing about native plants and their benefits, I find myself recommending some great native plants for their landscape. As I rattle off names of possible plants, I notice the puzzled look I get from the client. Did I comb my hair this morning?…Read More
As spring begins in earnest, pause for a moment before rushing off to the nursery or garden center to shop for plants. First, consider how the steps you take and the choices you make can increase the health of your landscape and the environment around you. Here are some tips…Read More