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The Dry Gardening Handbook: Plants and Practices for a Changing Climate

Articles: The Dry Gardening Handbook: Plants and Practices for a Changing Climate

Could there be a more timely title for the gardener in the West? With increasing challenges to an equitable distribution of the West’s limited water resources, it behooves us all to give some serious thought to how we design and plant our gardens to use less water.

Olivier Filippi has given this subject serious thought for at least the last two decades, from the home base of his nursery in the southern France. He and wife Carla have traveled throughout the Mediterranean and other regions of the world with a similar climate, to study the native plants and their responses to the annual pattern of rainless summers. They have put that field research to work in their own garden, experimenting with hundreds of plants to see how they would survive with little or no summer irrigation in the artificial situation of a garden.

The long-awaited result is The Dry Gardening Handbook, now available in English following its first publication in French. Filippi begins with a whirlwind tour of the planet’s major mediterranean-climate regions, followed by a thorough discussion of the adaptations that allow plants to survive in those regions that lack rainfall during the warmest months.

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