Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens: 200 Drought-Tolerant Choices for All Climates

If you're one of those lucky gardeners who has had enough rain this summer, don't gloat — chances are that, sooner or later, you're going to have to deal with a scarcity of water. It might be a dry spell that lasts just a few weeks or it might be a major drought that goes on for months. Whatever the scenario, it doesn't make sense to fill your garden with plants that need constant, copious irrigation. Not only will you be running up heart-stopping water bills, you'll be contributing — needlessly — to the diminishment of a precious, limited resource.
There's only one sensible way to address this situation, and that's to start using more plants that can get by on less water. Some people worry that their gardens will suffer as a result. But less water doesn't have to mean less beauty and less interest. You can see the truth of this statement on every page of Lauren Springer Ogden and Scott Ogden's new book, Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens: 200 Drought-Tolerant Choices for All Climates.
The Ogdens' choices are arranged by plant type. In the section on trees, for example, you'll find dazzling, little-known plants like bigtooth maple (one of the only drought-tolerant members of the genus) and New Mexican olive, which turns a brilliant gold in fall and is hardy to Zone 4. Among the perennials are the aptly named 'Shimmer' evening primrose and long-blooming purple mountain savory. In other words, these aren't the tired, scruffy-looking plants you might have associated with the phrase "drought-tolerant" — they're tough, top-performing, beautiful plants worthy of the most conspicuous place in your garden.
Really, it's a simple choice. Let the tap run or let the Ogdens guide you to a gorgeous, exuberant, water-efficient garden.

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