Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I've decided to stop posting book reviews here and to return to my focus on gardening and food (and some other things, no doubt, from time to time). That means I'll be setting up another blog for reading and writing, and I'll post the link when that's done. But in the meantime, one last book review which, since it's for a book about gardening, is appropriate for a blog that began with that focus.

Because I live and garden in the southern Arizona desert, I was delighted to receive a review copy of The Water-Saving Garden by award-winning garden writer, designer, and blogger Pam Penick.

It's easy to take water for granted; it's also very foolish. Like it or not, between over-population and climate change, water is not an infinite resource, not something to be taken for granted. Back in the 19th century, posters encouraged settlers to go West with the pie-in-the-sky claim that "rain follows the plow." It didn't then and it doesn't now, but that doesn't mean we can't have beautiful and productive gardens. As Penick shows us, what's required is careful planning, in how we prepare our gardens (soil, irrigation, and care in what we put where), what we select to plant (native and drought-tolerant or arid-adapted plants for the most part), and how we water and otherwise care for them. Water harvesting and irrigation are key to the last point.

Penick offers solid, workable advice in this extremely readable, beautifully illustrated, and highly informative book. I recommend it to any gardener, from beginner to the most experienced. I guarantee you'll find much practical and useful information in it, including ideas and advice that may surprise you - I already have!

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