Design with Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands (Paperback)

Design with Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands By Dr. Jack Ahern Cover Image

Design with Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands (Paperback)


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Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are special places known for their distinctive flora, including pine-oak forests, sandplain grasslands, and sand dunes peppered with bearberry shrubs. Unfortunately, this unique sense of place is under threat. In recent decades, contemporary landscape practices have come to depend on environmentally stressful fertilizers and irrigation systems, replacing this sensitive ecoregion’s native flora with generic turfgrasses and popular commercial nursery trees and shrubs that could exist anywhere.

Design with Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands seeks to reverse this damaging trend by offering landscape professionals, local officials, and homeowners a sustainable approach to landscape design based on the ecoregion’s native plants and plant communities. Presenting detailed discussions of Cape Cod’s natural history, Jack Ahern focuses on the principal plant communities that define its landscape character and that are well adapted to local soils and growing conditions, including climate change. The book also includes strategies for ecological planting design and a portfolio of photographs of active ecologically designed landscapes. 

JACK AHERN is professor emeritus of landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Product Details ISBN: 9781625346339
ISBN-10: 1625346336
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication Date: April 15th, 2022
Pages: 238
Language: English

Design with Nature’sdiscussion of native plant communities and its portfolio of landscape designs are informative, inspiring, and demonstrate the rich potential of following an ecological approach that utilizes species native to the islands and Cape.”—Darrel Morrison, author of Beauty of the Wild: A Life Designing Landscapes Inspired by Nature

“Written for professionals and scholars in the fields of landscape architecture, ecological restoration, and land management, as well as for property owners, Design with Nature provides a useful, instructional guide, exemplifying essential perspectives and practices. Ahern is an international expert in landscape ecology and ecological design, and his expertise is elegantly communicated in this deeply researched book.”—Nancy Rottle, coauthor of Ecological Design