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Palm Springs-Style Gardening: The Complete Guide to Plants and Practices for Gorgeous Dryland Gardens

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Palm Springs-Style Gardening

The Complete Guide to Plants and Practices for Gorgeous Dryland Gardens

By Maureen Gilmer

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Format: Paperback, 150 pages
Other Information: colour illustrations, frontispiece
Published In: United States, 01 December 2008
This book blends numerous areas of interest: [[First is the basic how-to of desert gardening: heat, soils, water and wind. [[Second is the exploration of Palm Springs architecture from Spanish to Mid-century modern and how outdoor gardens are made to work with these styles. [[Third is a detailed presentation of the plants that will thrive here under ordinary care, and are naturally adapted to the dry climates of Australia, Mexico, Africa and South America. Rather than group plants by trees, shrubs and perennials as most books are laid out, Palm Springs Gardening organizes plants according to their botanical associations and their aesthetic onesso readers go straight to the kinds of plants they find most appealing. For example, if you want to find the tropical-looking shrubs for your low desert garden, you go to the Tropicals section where they are grouped together for considerationno sifting through lots of other shrubs that would not be suitable. The author also considers the aesthetic vernacular of local architecture and the plants that are best used with each one. This includes the 1920/30s Spanish that's typical of old Palm Springs, which is linked to tropicals; the newly reconsidered mid-century modern style, linked to the Southern Africa succulents; the Bighorn-natural style that evokes Arizona cliff dwellings that works well with North American natives; and the desert modern (thick-mud-wall-rustic) keyed into a wide range of desert traditional plants. Beautiful locations throughout the region offer a great deal of diversity, so that the book covers the full range of interests. They include public places with garden interest, including Moorten Botanical Garden, The Living Desert, and outdoor garden galleries such as The Gardens at El Paseo.
EAN: 9780932653895
ISBN: 0932653898
Publisher: Sunbelt Publications
Dimensions: 25.15 x 22.61 x 1.52 centimetres (0.77 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years

Reviews

The great illusion of the desert is that is appears barren, but there is life and beauty visible only to the keen eyed beholder." Maureen "Mo"Gilmer is one of the keen eyed peopleshe has been gardening for the past thirty years and shares her expertise in "YardSmart," a nationally syndicated column in Scripps Howard News Service newspapers across the country. She also appears on the DIY Network, hosting and designing for the show "Weekend Gardening." She has authored 15 books on gardening and the environment, lectured on multiple gardening topics, and is a member of The Authors Guild and Garden Writers Association of America. All of this expertise is put to good use when teaching the southern gardener. Because of the hostile climateheat, sun exposure, and windgardening in the Coachella Valley can be a tricky endeavor. Many plants even stop their photosynthesis due to the stressful high temperatures. Dryland gardening is based on years of trial and error and Gilmer has gathered the do's and don'ts in an easy-to-follow book for people of all gardening levels. She begins the book with an overview of plants that do and do not grow in the desert. She discusses growing in the extreme heat, the light frosts, and the wind that sideline many beginning gardeners. She presents outlines of the two main Coachella Valley growing seasons: fall and winter. In these outlines she includes ideal planting times, watering schedules, and relocation plans for those frosty nights. Getting deeper into the book, she discusses growing instructions for specific plants such as palms, cacti, and grasses. Speckling her growing directions with "Mo Tips" is an incredibly helpful tool. The tips are locatedthroughout the book as sidebars and offer informative tidbits that aid the novice gardener in their growing endeavors. At the end of each chapter, she has a wrap-up section called "This Chapter in a Nutshell." It highlights the key elements she would like each gardener to take away from the chapter without coming across like a school textbook. This book is a great tool for gardeners of all levels. Gilmer maps out the downfalls and successes of harvesting a dryland garden, aiding in the reader's visualization with beautiful photographs of different plant species. It is highly organized, informative, and once a person is done reading it, they feel they can begin their gardening efforts in the dry, Southern states. -- Rhiannon Ross "Foreward"

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