A philosophical and practical guide for the gardener who hopes to wants to create a backyard garden in harmony with nature. Why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. An eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson uses engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the United States, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists to demonstrate how we can apply the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces. A book for gardens of all shapes, sizes, and budgets. Includes detailed chapters that address planting for wildlife by choosing native species; providing habitats that shelter baby animals, as well as birds, bees, and butterflies; creating safe zones in the garden; cohabiting with creatures often regarded as pests; letting nature be your garden designer; and encouraging natural processes and evolution in the garden. Includes a Getting Started section complete with general information, suggested further reading for specific regions, native plant information and regional databases, and native plant retail sources and suppliers. Who is the humane gardener? The humane gardener practices compassionate landscaping. They attract wildlife and peacefully resolve conflicts with all the creatures that may inhabit their garden. They see the garden as a meeting place for all creatures, not a territory to be defended.