Author(s): Jan Wagtendonk
Jan Wagtendonk originally wrote this book in 2001 (as Jan Conning) after she finished planting up her 60 acre property. The property had been so overgrown when they’d bought it a few years earlier and in desperate need of a massive tidy up. But, due to the wilderness, the wildlife had flourished, and she was afraid of damaging the habitat and having them all leave. So she decided to make it a haven for them and plant mostly trees, shrubs and understory plants that would benefit them with either food or cover instead of just trees, etc that would look nice to us.
In searching for information on beneficial/useful trees, shrubs etc she should plant, she found that while there was lots of info and articles on the subject out there, there wasn't a book that contained it all in one. There would be a chapter in one book, a magazine article somewhere else, bits in this farming journal, bits in that newsletter, random gardening newspaper articles, etc....(remember this was before most of us had a computer with all of today's info at hand!) so Jan ended up with a suitcase full of torn out pages, papers and scribbled notes.
After a few years, she ended up with a lot of groups and various people, coming to see what their most beautiful property had developed into and they'd all ask what they should be planting to attract and keep the birdlife/insects. Her bag of tatty info papers just wasn't a good look so she decided to put it all together in one book so others could get the benefit of this most helpful information that she was so grateful to have had as a guide. Jan has included things she found worked well for her and other little handy ideas/methods that might help someone new to it all.
Jan has updated her book with a “Fast Forward – 13 years on” section and recently republished this very useful and inspiring guide.