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Adopting a Summer-Dry Garden Aesthetic

Articles: Adopting a Summer-Dry Garden Aesthetic

In this handsome summer-dry garden a garden urn is backed by Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ and mounds of Olea europaea ‘Little Ollie’ above a silvery carpet of Stachys byzantina ‘Big Ears’. Photo: Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic

[sidebar]For additional information on plants suited to summer-dry climates along with a searchable photo database visit www.summer-dry.com. More articles on gardens for summer-dry climates may be found at www.PhotoBotanic.com, Saxon’s online photo library.[/sidebar]

The West Coast swings from drought to flood, from El Niño to La Niña. What is a gardener to do?

It’s hard to know how to garden sustainably in a climate where rainfall averages are remarkably consistent over any 15-year period, but a year-to-year graph looks like it was drawn by a yo-yo. We are told to use drought-tolerant plants, but in a region where five to nine months of no rain is normal and rainfall averages anywhere from 10 to 40 inches from south to north, the term drought-tolerant plant is nearly useless. All plants are drought tolerant in their native habitat. For successful gardening, we should be thinking...


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