By Edward Lyon
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Extra resources for Growing the Midwest Garden
In order to break down the Midwest region further, I use five identifiable range designations that others have already named: South of the Boreal, Great Lakes, Prairie, Plains, and Lower Midwest. A range can be defined as the region throughout which a kind of organism or ecological community naturally lives or occurs, as well as the distance between possible extremes. Ranges cross state boundaries and vary considerably in expanse. Keep in mind, too, that transitional zones exist between the ranges, every range will have variable localities, and every locality will have its idiosyncratic microclimates.
When I advise others I am quick to tell them that they will learn far more from my mistakes than my successes. This might be my definition of gardening. As a horticulturist, I will forever be in debt to my father for teaching me about native vegetation. It was an integral part of our lives that instilled deep love and appreciation for nature and would eventually change my career. I doubt I will ever feel at home without the proximity of trees and the scent of dried leaves. Growing up on a small dairy farm near Coopers-town, New York, I remember my father lamenting that the property bordering our farm contained black locust (which produced the best fence posts), but it missed our land entirely.
In the end, what makes this book so valuable is that Ed Lyon is a raconteur of gardening wisdom and experience. His successes and failures will ring true to longtime gardeners while bolstering the confidence of those just starting out. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Ed, you’ll get to know him as you read this book because he writes like he talks, with an easy, friendly, and helpful demeanor. He’s amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience for gardeners to tap into. After all, who better to advise you on Midwestern gardening than a Midwestern gardener—in this case, we’ll forgive Ed his Mid-Atlantic upbringing!