The Master Gardener’s Bookshelf
Planting in a Post-Wild World
by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West
Review by Susan Wilhelm, Extension Master Gardener
Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West (2015) provides concrete advice for designing, planting, and managing sustainable landscapes based on what we know about how plants grow in nature. While written for professional landscape designers, it is full of ideas and practical tools for anyone interested in sustainable landscaping.
Mr. Rainer, a certified landscape architect, teacher, and writer who lives in Arlington, Virginia, and Ms. West, a landscape designer, lecturer, and consultant based in White Hall, Maryland, take their inspiration from naturally occurring plant communities. The book opens with an in-depth discussion of how plants co-exist in natural settings. It then shows how this knowledge can be used to design sustainable landscapes that introduce nature to urban and suburban settings. Individual chapters address natural plant communities, the principles of designed plant communities, the design process itself, and creation and management of designed plant communities. The book has many wonderful photographs, illustrations, several handy tables that complement the text, and an extensive index.
Planting in a Post-Wild World is available at the Arlington Library. It can be purchased from its publisher, Timber Press, and national book retailers. The list price is $39.95. You can read Thomas Rainer’s blog “grounded design” at thomasrainer.com.