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IST 605: New England Gardening

This is a guide to gardening in New England with a focus on native plants and pollinator gardens that help restore the ecosystem by providing food to bees, bugs, butterflies and moths. The books, articles, and videos will introduce the idea of gardening s

Creating habitats for bees, birds, butterflies, and bugs

Crab spider on a button bushThis is a guide to gardening in the hardy zones of the New England states with a focus on using flowers, shrubs, and grasses that will help restore our ecosystem. With native plants and pollinator gardens, even the smallest area can provide food for bees, bugs, butterflies, moths, and birds. 

Even if you never break ground, you will enjoy the illustrations, photographs, and evocative plant descriptions, especially in the "Choosing Plants" section. Other sections offer how-to articles and step-by-step advice for beginners as well as encyclopedic information on gardening techniques and practical information for more experienced gardeners. The section on "Inspiration" is just that -- stories, garden tours, and narratives that offer gardeners' personal experiences.

This guide reflects a range of perspectives on what it means to "garden sustainably." Some gardeners exclude cultivated varieties in their plantings  and advocate using only "truly" native plants -- plants that thrived before European settlement and evolved and adapted to the micro-climates and conditions of New England. Others welcome non-native and cultivated varieties of native plants to create pollinator-rich yards and gardens. 

Overall, this is a guide is for beginners as well as experienced gardeners who are interested in creating vibrant, wildlife-friendly spaces that are beautiful and help sustain our fragile ecosystems. (Pictured: Crab spider on a button bush, Walden Pond, Concord, Mass.)

Search strategies

Search for this guide was based on the Minuteman Library Network Online Public Access Catalog (including digital collections, specifically, Gale General OneFile and Kanopy). Google search was used for web portals, videos, and open articles.

Search terms:

  • Native plants for New England gardens
  • Sustainable gardening
  • Flower gardening
  • Native plants Northeast
  • Gardening in New England

The guide was created with Minuteman Library users in mind; however, each book description includes a link to find the item in your own library via WorldCat. Access to digital resources including Gale General OneFile and Kanopy is library-specific and requires cardholder log-in. These databases are widely available on other public and academic library websites.