Marjorie Peronto and Reeser Manley will launch their new gardening book at the Jesup Memorial Library on Dec. 1. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JESUP

Manley, Peronto to talk about biodiversity

BAR HARBOR — Horticulturists Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto will launch their book “The Life in Your Garden: Gardening for Biodiversity” at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. Manley and Peronto will talk about how to create gardens that help stem the tide of species extinctions among insects, birds, amphibians and other endangered creatures.

Manley and Peronto’s talk will touch on key themes in their book, including nurturing a wide variety of garden wildlife by using ecologically-functional plants – native trees and shrubs, herbaceous perennials and annuals. They also show examples of insect-garden interactions to demonstrate that a garden can and should be a stable, self-regulated ecosystem in which insect herbivores are held in check by their predators. “The Life in Your Garden” represents a major rethinking of North American yards and gardens, where the gardener is a steward of our planet.

Manley has gardened in South Carolina, Washington (while earning a doctorate in horticultural science), Massachusetts and Maine. From 2007 through 2015, he wrote about the garden in a weekly column for the Bangor Daily News. He taught courses in horticulture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of Maine at Orono. In 2013, he retired from teaching chemistry and physics to devote his time to gardening and garden writing.

Peronto, a professor for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, has been teaching courses in fruit and vegetable gardening, ecological landscaping and pruning for 26 years. She oversees Down East Maine’s Master Gardener Volunteers Program, training individuals to conduct community outreach projects that promote sustainable gardening and food security. She has developed nationally-recognized school gardening courses for teachers.

Manley and Peronto previously wrote “The New England Gardener’s Year: A Month-by-Month Guide for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Upstate New York.”

Books will be on sale that night. This talk is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].

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