Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates: Plants for a Lush, Water-Conscious Landscapes


Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates is a tutorial and gardening style guide by Nora Harlow and photographed by Saxon Holt. Due out 5th Jan 2021 from Workman Publishing on their Timber Press imprint, it's 308 pages (print version) and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

This is a comprehensive, layman accessible guide to designing and cultivating a garden in summer-dry and winter-wet areas (specifically the Pacific NW and coastal areas). The author expends effort to cover both the climate, topography, the special challenges and benefits of the area as well as taking climate trends (wildfires, etc) into consideration when building a garden plan.

The book also contains a comprehensive compendium of suitable plants with each entry containing the botanical (Latin) name, common name (where applicable), size and spread, where the plants come from, USDA zone info, as well as many cultivars with photos.  The photographs are clear, lush, plentiful, and really well done. Leafing through the book in midwinter is guaranteed to get any gardener's fingers itching to dig in the dirt. It's bursting with colorful plants in rude good health in beautiful display. Individual plant profiles also include information about lesser known cultivars along with good tips for culture, harvest, and use. There's quite a lot of good information here for gardeners from beginner to expert.

There's a chapter with troubleshooting ideas for special needs: small gardens, hot spots, hedges/shrubs, dry shade, etc. Each of the locations contains an alphabetical list of potential plants for each task. Plants are listed with Latin name, common name, and some include cultivars which are particularly suitable. 

This would be a nice addition to the gardener's library. Worth noting for readers, this is mostly slanted toward gardeners in  North America. It will translate perfectly well to the areas of the rest of the world which have similar conditions but adjustments might need to be made for readers outside these areas.

Four stars. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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