The opening sentence points the direction of this chapter and though I haven't read the entire book yet, I suspect it also applies to the entire book. It reads:
I CAME INTO GARDENING backward, from the wild verges instead of the garden gate.
The first chapter is a fairly good overview of the problems associated with conventional gardening methods that seek an artificial order to a garden. When the soil and local ecology don't cooperate, she describes how the standard response is to resort to workarounds that still do not take into account what nature would prefer, tricks that works against the natural tendency of the soil, plants, and local ecology.
She discusses her own first by-the-book gardening efforts and the subsequent realization that many of the critters- grouse, frogs, foxes, butterflies, grasshoppers- that had lived on her property had fled. And worse, that she was responsible.
She points her finger at America's "gardening tradition" and I have to quibble about that and disagree on the point that it's a distinctly American form of gardening. I would rather call it a Modern Gardening Tradition because the style, I think, is fairly global. Here is what she wrote:
America's clean, spare landscaping and gardening tradition has devastated rural ecology. The relentless spread of suburbia's neat yards and gardens has caused lcoal extinctions of such important predators as foxes, had dangerously reduced habitat of many kinds of birds, and has threatened the total extinction of fragile species... Entire communities of plants and insects... have been wiped bare.