Sunday Dinner: Agency

“However, popular culture defines Nature as an “other,” a near-sentient force operating beyond the bounds of human community. I was raised with that notion and can empathize with the nostalgia often accompanying it, but I can’t accept the idea of a separate Nature any more than I believe digital data resides in “The Cloud” (the data resides in machinery that is typically plugged into a wall socket).”

Rick Darke

“Few people realize that the dry Mediterranean region, including the original breadbasket of civilization in what is now Iraq, was once a forested ecosystem. When humans cut those forests thousands of years ago, rainfall became even more scarce than it already was and the entire region became and has remained an extremely fragile and far-less-productive desert-scrub ecosystem.”

Rick Darke

“If our landscaping choices can rebuild populations of a butterfly thought to be extinct without listing it under the Endangered Species Act and without investing one dime of limited conservation funds—that is, without even trying—imagine what we can do if we include conservation as one of the goals of our gardens.”

Rick Darke

“native: a plant or animal that has evolved in a given place over a period of time sufficient to develop complex and essential relationships with the physical environment and other organisms in a given ecological community.”

Rick Darke

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

“Ecosystems function locally, not globally. Local extinction, the disappearance of a species within, say, the woodlot down the street, or even your front yard, is now predicted to compromise the productivity of that woodlot and your yard.”

Rick Darke



    • You’re welcome, Eliza. I like Rick Darke’s books very much and am currently reading one called The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest (2002) that is just stunning. The photography is my favorite part, but I am learning so much about bringing the spirit of the woods to a home landscape. He is practical in his advice, and so knowledgeable. The Living Landscape, co-written with Doug Tallamy was the first book of his that I read, and I still refer back to it. Knowing you, I expect you will enjoy it, Eliza 😉


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