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Good Gardens with Less Water

Good Gardens with Less Water
Kevin Handreck
CSIRO Publishing (distributed in U.S. by Stylus Publishing, Herndon, Va.)
Publication Date: 

paper, 166 pp., $31.00

The theme of this book by Australian author Kevin Handreck is how to overcome the challenges of water restrictions through wise consumption of all water sources and the selection of appropriate drought-tolerant plantings. First making the case for the value of the home garden, the author then explores the topic of appropriate selection of garden plants, emphasizing native species that are tolerant of existing environmental conditions. He then turns to soil conditions, reviewing methods for improvement of soil texture and structure. The section on the use of recycled household water for the garden is particularly instructive, for the author includes information on potential damage to plants when there is a high concentration of certain chemicals. He reviews different methods of irrigation and mulches for water conservation, and takes on the subject of the watering care of potted plants. Even though some of the equipment mentioned in the text may not be readily available in the United States, the text is a practical guide on management of limited water resources for every home gardener.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden