Mediterranean Gardening: A Waterwise Approach by Heidi Gildemeister
Gardening in harmony with a Mediterranean climate means taking advantage of winter rain and allowing the garden to rest over hot summers. In this beautifully illustrated, practical handbook, Heidi Gildemeister provides both novice and experienced gardeners with a comprehensive guide for waterwise gardening, with over one thousand drought-tolerant Mediterranean plants chosen both for their beauty and for their easygoing ways. Well indexed with common and botanical names, Mediterranean Gardening will be indispensable not only for gardeners in California, the Mediterranean basin, and Mediterranean climate areas in South America, Australia, and Africa, but for anyone living in a region that experiences drought. Gildemeister explains how drought-tolerant plants that are suitably matched with a site and carefully planted and mulched can live on winter rain and, once established, do not need additional summer water - as in nature. The Plant Selection lists over one thousand plants from nearly five hundred genera, including their preferred growing conditions, propagation, best use, and maintenance. Guidelines in eight steps describe the planning of waterwise gardens, such as for the establishment of dappled shade to conserve precious soil moisture. Successful alternatives to the water-intensive lawn offer attractive design ideas. Mediterranean Gardening offers a wealth of information: 'easy' plants for the beginner, new choices for the garden architect, and for botanists the latest findings on minimum temperatures plants can endure. An extensive bibliography covering drought tolerance and a list of useful addresses make this book as helpful to people converting to water-, labor-, and ecology-conscious gardening as to those starting from scratch.