Gardens are extensions of our homes and imaginations, havens where we can spend time outdoors, relaxing, entertaining and relishing useful, physical exercise. But our gardens are also extensions of the natural world, conversations between us and the lands we live upon and beside. Through our gardens, as well as other neighborhood greenspaces we can actually help counter some of the woes faced by larger environments: rampant development, loss of plant and animal habitat, the spread of invasive species, the exploitation of natural resources, air and water pollution, and the impacts of global warming. Yes, even our small, urban, backyard landscapes can help combat such man-made strains on our local environments. And it's surprisingly easy to do!

In his new book, The Northwest Garden Manifesto, scientist and gardener John J. Albers teams up with photographer, David E. Perry to create a comprehensive and visually stunning guide to encourage and enable each of us to consider the local ecosystem in our own gardens, by following these key principes:

1. Protect, conserve and create healthy soil
2. Maintain healthy plants and create a sustainable landscape
3. Conserve water and other natural resources
4. Protect water and air quality
5. Protect and enhance wildlife habitat
6. Conserve energy
7. Use sustainable methods and materials.
Book Review: 'Northwest Garden Manifesto' promotes sustainable landscapes
The Oregonian. Posted March17, 2018
Sally and George Peterson are DIY gardeners who have transformed a rough hillside with a lake view into a tree-laden landscape with organic vegetables and herbs growing in raised planter beds and a greenhouse. On their Ashland property, 225 trees, mostly native and drought tolerant, provide shade, fall color and berries for birds. They have also planted 200 shrubs and 3,000 bulbs, and installed a filter system to catch rainwater.
We gave Sally Peterson a stack of garden-related books and asked her if the information would help other DIYers in the Pacific Northwest. Here is one of her reviews:
"Northwest Garden Manifesto: Create, Restore, and Maintain a Sustainable Yard" by John. J. Albers with photography by David E. Perry (Mountaineers Books/Skipstone, $24.95): Passion and expertise are combined in Albers' practical and motivational book. Addressing what could be a very disheartening topic, urban decline of biodiversity and its impact on our planet, Albers takes a hopeful approach to having a yard that is a sustainable source of biodiversity and a healthy habitat for wildlife in our cities. Quite a tall order! Albers begins his 224-page book by defining necessary terms related to ecology and urban landscapes. He then takes the reader through basic environmental factors to better comprehend our individual garden spot. Several chapters describe trees, ornamentals and edibles that will work in built-out settings. The details include size, light requirements, soil needs and potential to attract pollinators. Chapters on sustainability, energy, water and wildlife are especially powerfully written. Albers' deep understanding of and respect for our environment is clearly expressed on every page I would be remiss if I did not mention the absolutely gorgeous photographs by David E. Perry. These stunning images truly enhance the message and capture the beauty and potential of urban landscapes.
"Northwest Garden Manifesto" is a powerful call to action for all gardeners. We can make a difference in our well-being. We can improve the health of our urban ecosystems. We can have a positive effect on the condition of our planet. Albers and Perry have given us the information and inspiration we need to make a big impact.
-- Sally Peterson

John J. Albers is a research professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. He has published over 400 scientific articles. Dr. Albers is also an educator for the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association, an ecoPRO-certified sustainable landscape professional, and a former Washington State University/Kitsap County Master Gardener. He created Albers Vista Gardens in Kitsap County (, which encompasses more than four acres and contains about 1200 different plant species and cultivars. He has regularly given tours and presentations at his garden. His presentations focus on sustainable landscape practices and growing exceptional plants for Northwest gardens. He has published the book Gardening for Sustainability: Albers Vista Gardens of Kitsap and more recently The Northwest Garden Manifesto: Create, Restore and Maintain a Sustainable Yard. Contact Dr. Albers directly at or 124 NE 31st Street, Bremerton, WA 98310-2150.

David E. Perry is an inspirational photographer, a willing teacher and a captivating storyteller with a keen knack for observation and a distinct twinkle in his eye who brings the unique insights and skills garnered in his thirty plus years of worldwide, on-location photo assignments for major corporations, ad agencies, magazines and book publishers to each new project he encounters. As the inquisitive son of a zoologist, David grew up in the field with his dad, trapping and preserving specimens for museums, exploring literally dozens of bat caves and studying the complex interplay between life forms and their ecologies. He began documenting his impressions of the living world around him with cameras at a very early age. His reverence for gardens, flowers and the gardeners who tend them is apparent in the pictures he makes and his playful, sometimes irreverent manner of speaking about them keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Onstage he is a spirited, dynamic speaker who makes his presentation topics memorable and relevant to audiences through the ample use of clever graphics, breathtaking imagery, playful humor, and by never, ever talking down to them. David has been photographing assignments for books, magazines, scores of Fortune 500 annual reports and national ad campaigns for more than three decades. His work has been featured on the cover of Fine Gardening magazine six times in the past few years, including two cover stories in a row during 2017. He also wrote and photographed their first ever feature on garden photography. His work also been featured many times in Sunset magazine and books, This Old House magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Flower magazine, Leaf magazine, Garden Design, Pacific Horticulture, Northwest Horticulture and Cut Flower Quarterly.

To order your signed copy of The Northwest Garden Manifesto, email me via the form below and we'll get one headed your direction, right away. ($24.95 plus $2.52 tax and $5.75 USPS media shipping). Your book can be in the mail within a day. Custom inscriptions are also available for a small, additional charge and may add a few days to the time to your order.
Thank you!

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