review: The Water-Saving Garden

The Water-Saving Garden: How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden with a Lot Less Water by Pam Penick

The Water-Saving Garden

Though we haven’t experienced much if any actual drought in this area, I’m still always concerned about how much water my garden will require. This is probably 90% out of pure laziness – I want the rain to provide virtually all of what my plants need so I don’t have to do as much work. I also feel like plants that thrive without extra water are stronger than those that rely on me to coddle them. With climate change, though, I do feel that it’s likely that we will have more dry spells and other unpredictable weather, so I want to design my garden with that in mind. This book is a perfect resource for this! It also made me think of my friends who live in California and are faced with actual serious drought conditions on the reg.

This book runs the gamut of topics related to water-saving gardens, including examples of low-water-need gardens, info on xeriscaping, rain barrel how-tos, basics of designing and maintaining a rain garden, how to use landscaping to reduce your water needs (berms, swales, terraces, hardscaping, etc.), using grey water, irrigation options, adding shade and windbreaks, reducing lawns and other water hogs, using native and other well-adapted plants, the best timing for planting to reduce water need, low-water-use container gardening, creating a lush look despite low water use, and a list of 101 plants recommended for water-saving gardens. Whew! There’s a ton of info in less than 250 pages, and that includes clear full-color photographs of many of the materials and techniques described.

There are definitely a bunch of things from this book that I’m going to incorporate into my garden planning for Firefly Cottage. I was already planning on lots of native plants and we added two rain barrels when we had the roof and gutters redone last fall, but there’s so much more to think about. Have you used any water-saving techniques in your yard or garden? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you!

Full disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books.