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Dry-Land Gardening: A Xeriscaping Guide for Dry-Summer, Cold-Winter Climatesby Jennifer Bennett
Synopses & Reviews
When Jennifer Bennett moved almost a decade ago, the fact that her new home was in the same zone as the old one was virtually all the two locations had in common. The first had been lush and shady, with a stream out back. The new place was atop a limestone hill, exposed and windy. In summer, the soil quickly dried after a rain, and rains seldom came. Bennett's challenge became how to deal with hot, drought-like summer conditions and variable winters that are snowy one week, rainy the next, then ice-glazed. An adaptive gardener by nature, Bennett became engaged in xeriscaping, an approach to gardening that favors not only water conservation but also the conservation of time, energy and other resources.
The dry garden is distinctive. Brighter, open, with gray foliage and the waxy foliage of succulents, it depends more on ground covers and mulches than on stately flowering perennials. Xeriscaping enthusiasts exist everywhere, from the American deserts to the Canadian prairies and the American Midwest. Thus "Dry-Land Gardening" is not about Bennett's garden but about dry-gardening strategies: coping with limited access to water, invasive plants and trees under stress, nurturing-ground covers and grasses, starting bulbs, perennials and vines, and growing vegetables, herbs and annual flowers successfully. The dry garden, says Bennett, "gives more to the environment than it takes away. A few skills and the right plants add to a garden with a different sort of beauty, one that leaves your time and your conscience free and easy". Fully illustrated, the text includes recommendations for dozens of winter-hardy, drought-tolerant plants.
This DRY-LAND GARDENING is about coping with limited access to water, invasive plants and trees under stress, nurturing ground covers and grasses, starting bulbs, perennials and vines and growing vegetables and herbs.
Garden writer Jennifer Bennett's home is atop an exposed limestone hill, where the soil dries quickly after a rain and rains seldom come. Gardening where the summers are hot and prone to periods of drought, where the winters are snowy one week and freezing rain the next, has led Bennett to xeriscaping — a gardening approach that favors not only water conservation but also the conservation of time, energy and other resources.
Xeriscaping enthusiasts exist everywhere throughout North America, from the California desert to the Canadian prairies. Thus Dry-Land Gardening is not about Bennett's eastern Ontario garden only but about dry-land gardening strategies: coping with limited access to water, invasive plants and trees under stress; nurturing groundcovers and grasses; starting bulbs, perennials and vines; and growing vegetables, herbs and annual flowers successfully. Bright and open, with gray foliage and the waxy leaves of succulents, the dry garden depends more on groundcovers and mulches than on stately flowering perennials. In her latest book, Bennett celebrates a garden with a different sort of beauty, one that leaves your time and your conscience free and easy.
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