Xerces Society blog archive for Conservation Comes Home, is here. Many posts on Plants for Pollinators.
Native Seed Gardeners guide to collecting seeds.
Common Bees and Wasps of Ohio Field Guide
Excellent resource for identification of bees and wasps. Ohio source,
but much information will be relevant in Chicago area.
Recommended Book List
Tallamy, Douglas W. – Bringing Nature Home
The author makes a compelling case for the ways in which utilizing native plants in our gardens helps to sustain wildlife. The book has been called “the Silent Spring of the 21st Century” in terms of the impact it has.
Nowak, Mariette – Birdscaping in the Midwest
A guide to gardening with native plants to attract birds, this book describes 9 different habitat gardens for bringing various bird species to your home. The book is full of useful sidebars and lists.
Ladd, Doug (2 Books)
Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers
This is a Nature Conservancy field guide to flowers of the tallgrass prairie (and some of the grasses).
North Woods Wildflowers
Field guide to more than 300 wildflowers conveniently arranged by flower color for easy identification. Includes vibrant color photos and descriptions.
Tylka, Dave – Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People
This book includes tips on how each plant helps wildlife, what’s special about it, what sun/soil conditions it needs. The subtitle of the book is “How to use native Midwestern plants to beautify your property and benefit wildlife.”
Wasowski, Sally – Gardening with Prairie Plants
This book has everything you need to know to create a native prairie landscape from site evaluation to plant selection. It includes descriptions of prairie grasses as well as savanna trees and shrubs.
Johnson, Lorraine – 100 Easy-To-Grow Native Plants
This book works to provide a fail-safe guide to beautiful low-maintenance plants native to many regions. The features include: Handy profiles of each native plant, Maintenance requirements, Creative suggestions for plant pairings, Propagation and cultivation tips and more.
Czarapata, Elizabeth J. – Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: An Illustrated Guide to Their Identification and Control
This guide includes more than 250 color photos that will help identify problem trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, sedges, and herbaceous plants. Other details of plant identification; manual, mechanical, biological, and chemical control techniques; information and advice about herbicides; and suggestions for related ecological restoration and community education efforts.
Nowakowski, Keith Gerard – Native Plants in the Home Landscape
This book includes a brief history of our area as well as gardening tips, planting plans, and information on forbs, as well as trees and shrubs.
Holm, Heather – Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants
This book illustrates the specific relationships between native pollinators and native plants. Organized by plant communities, the book profiles over 65 perennial native plants. Provides the reader with information on how to attract, plant for and identify pollinators with native plants.
Hill, Patricia – Design Your Natural Midwest Garden
This book offers a wide variety of designs for front-yard gardens, patios and terraces, borders, hillsides, woodlands and water, as well as specialty gardens whether sunny or shady. The designs are helpful and the advice practical. Photos are not the best quality but overall good resource.
Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz –
The Midwestern Native Garden and Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees
Two titles by Adelman and Schwartz.
These books are organized by season, with different sections explaining the non-native plants and their appearance each season. The books serve as a “Plant this, Not that” for gardening, providing alternative options to nonnative, invasive and exotic plants. The book distinguishes natives and non-natives by color-coding them. Each page shows a non-native plant, with a brief description, followed by 1-3 native alternatives, providing dense descriptions of their physical characteristics, common & Latin names, and the benefits to birds, butterflies and bees of including these plants in your garden. The books also have colorful photos or illustrations of the plants.
NOTE: Local Libraries can be excellent resources to borrow some of the pricier books such as William Cullina’s – The New England Wildflower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers in the United States and Canada.