paper, 192 p., $24.95
With noticeable changes in climate, gardeners find themselves challenged in the care of plants. The decline in the levels of moisture for a region has turned the public’s attention to xeriscaping, or methods of employing water conservation in plant irrigation and the use of drought-tolerant plants. An award-winning garden writer and editor, Jennifer Bennett relates the ways to conserve water successfully and how to meet the challenges of growing plants under dry conditions, based on her personal experience.
The author suggests various strategies, from catching rain in a barrel to using rocks for windbreaks and pathways. Fine gravel, she contends, provides beneficial mulch that will help retain moisture in the soil. Her directory of drought-tolerant plants, divided by habitat and listed alphabetically by botanical name, lists tough plants, including grasses, ground covers, bulbs, perennials, annuals, and shrubs.
Whether or not they are challenged by occasional drought conditions, all gardeners will find this book valuable. The author gives practical advice on time- and energy-saving, essentially lightening the burden of many gardening chores through new techniques.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden