Just finished reading a wonderful book that my friend Countrymouse had given me as a gift: The Landscaping Ideas of Jays: A Natural History of the Backyard Restauration Garden.
Now, I have to admit that at first I was a bit hesitant to tackle this. Living in Suburbia, I don't think of my garden as a restauration garden. When I go for a hike in August and September, the landscape has its own stark beauty but it's not what I'd like in my own garden.
But the book is eloquent about so many things I really care about. The structure already makes so much sense: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, and The Fifth Season. When it's Mid-November and hitting the high 70s, you know you're in the Fifth Season. Then there are fun stories of some of the early native plant enthusiasts. Some of them sad, remembering the amazing displays of California wildflowers before the imports from Europe took over. And a lot of very solid advice about garden design and maintenance.
It all inspired me to order at least a few wildflower seeds, which I'll try to germinate in pots this year and hope to transplant into my completely revamped front yard this spring.
For anyone who's similarly inspired, the book and seeds, as well as good advice, can be had from Judith Larner Lowry's web page http://www.larnerseeds.com.