Chesapeake Gardening and Landscaping

The Essential Green Guide

By Barbara W. Ellis

Neil Soderstrom, Principal Photographer

328 pp., 7.625 x 8.75, 317 color plates., 20 figs, 49 sidebars, bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-2097-8
    Published: March 2015
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-2098-5
    Published: March 2015
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4287-9
    Published: March 2015

Buy this Book

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit
What if, one step at a time, we could make our gardens and landscapes more eco-friendly? Barbara W. Ellis's colorful, comprehensive guide shows homeowners, gardeners, garden designers, and landscapers how to do just that for the large and beautiful Chesapeake Bay watershed region. This area includes Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and part of West Virginia (translating to portions of USDA Zones 6, 7, and 8). Here, mid-Atlantic gardeners, from beginners to advanced, will find the essential tools for taking steps to make their gardens part of the solution through long-term planning and planting.

The guide is built from the ground up around six simple but powerful principles that anyone can use:

* Reduce lawn

* Build plant diversity

* Grow native plants

* Manage water runoff

* Welcome wildlife

* Garden wisely

Included are detailed instructions for assessing and designing your particular garden or landscape site; choosing and caring for trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, and flowers; and succeeding with such conditions as shade or poor soil. From rain gardens to woodland gardens, meadow gardens to wildlife gardens, and much more, this indispensable guide features more than 300 color photographs.

Published in association with the Adkins Arboretum

About the Author

Former managing editor of gardening books at Rodale Press and publications director at the American Horticultural Society, Barbara W. Ellis is the author of Covering Ground: Unexpected Ideas for Landscaping with Colorful, Low-Maintenance Ground Covers, among other books.
For more information about Barbara W. Ellis, visit the Author Page.


“Offers helpful advice on assessing, designing, planting, and maintaining earth friendly landscapes.”—American Gardener

"Both enjoyable reading and an invaluable reference. It lacks for nothing with elegant multiple entry points to satisfy a veteran or a novice gardener." — Association for Garden Communicators

"An important, valuable, and timely resource for Chesapeake gardeners, and the only book of its kind for the region. The volume's structure and practical how-to nature will make it useful both to readers just starting their gardening endeavors and to experienced gardeners inspired to bring their landscapes into more conformity with their natural contexts." —Mollie Ridout, Director of Horticulture, Historic Annapolis Foundation

"This book addresses an important topic for the twenty-first century: how better landcare practices in our gardens and landscapes at home can improve local watersheds as well as the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The extensive plant lists and conversational tone make this a ready reference tool for the home gardener looking for direction on watershed-healthy garden practices. Using the plant lists and suggestions will help gardeners develop landscapes they can love and learn in while doing their part for the Bay." —Ann English, RainScapes Program Manager, Department of Environmental Protection, Montgomery County, Maryland, and landscape architect

Multimedia & Links

Visit Ellis's blog, Eastern Shore Gardener.

See the Author's Calendar of Events on her website.