February 14, 2023

I’ve been following Noelle Johnson’s informative and entertaining garden blog, AZ Plant Lady: Ramblings From a Desert Garden, for more than a decade. As a horticulturist and landscape consultant in Phoenix, Noelle is an authority on native and desert-adapted plants suited to her hot, arid climate. Her website engages with lovely photos of her own colorful garden as well as others around town, and she’s generous with maintenance tips. I imagine these are especially useful to people who’ve relocated to the Desert Southwest and are wondering how in the heck to create a climate-resilient garden.

And now Noelle has packaged her vast experience and knowledge about desert gardening into book form! Dry Climate Gardening: Growing Beautiful, Sustainable Gardens in Low-Water Conditions comes out in March and is available for pre-order now. I received an advance copy for review and was pleased to write an endorsement for it:

Noelle’s book uproots all the stereotypes of gardening in an arid or semi-arid region. Instead of expanses of rock and cactus with a few boring clipped shrubs, she shows just how colorful and plant-rich — yet waterwise — a dry garden can be, while walking the reader through the practicalities of smart plant selection and maintenance. Everyone who relocates to the Desert Southwest, or who wants to refresh their yard to meet the challenges of climate change, should get this book and read it cover to cover.

I’m especially excited for Noelle’s book because her region, like my own here in Texas, is sorely underrepresented in magazines, books, and online. Not only that, gardening in a desert climate is a completely different experience than gardening somewhere more temperate. The plants are different. The seasons are different. The soil and even the sunlight are different. Noelle proves to be an excellent guide in helping any dry-climate gardener figure it all out.

While the book isn’t aimed at a Central Texas audience (we’re not a desert climate), there’s some overlap in terms of certain plants, like the purple trailing lantana and Pride of Barbados pictured above. And as our climate grows hotter, we would do well to look westward for planting strategies and species tolerant of both heat and drought, while being mindful of our possible deep freezes and drought-busting floods. West Texans, meanwhile, will find much of the book directly relevant to their low-water gardens.

Photo credit: All photos by Noelle Johnson from Dry Climate Gardening

Disclosure: Cool Springs Press sent me a copy of Dry Climate Gardening, and I reviewed it at my own discretion and without any compensation. This post, as with everything at Digging, is my personal opinion.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.

Make plans to attend the Budding Out Plant Sale & Festival on March 18 at the John Fairey Garden in Hempstead, TX. Rare and distinctive plants will be offered, as well as art, ceramics, jewelry, food, drink, music, and other entertainment for the whole family. Members have early access and get in free. Non-member admission is $5. Children 12 and under are free.

Experience the Surreal Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden, an enchanting neon-art display throughout the gardens, with food and drink, music and dancing, surreal performers, and interactive art sculptures. Surreal costumes encouraged! 25% of event proceeds benefit the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. Runs April 6 (VIP Night), April 7-8, and April 13-15, from 6:30 pm to 11 pm.

All material (C) 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Read This: Dry Climate Gardening appeared first on Digging.

Dry Climate Gardening by Noelle Johnson shows just how colorful and plant-rich, yet waterwise, a desert garden can be. … Read More
The post Read This: Dry Climate Gardening appeared first on Digging.Read MoreDigging

February 14, 2023

I’ve been following Noelle Johnson’s informative and entertaining garden blog, AZ Plant Lady: Ramblings From a Desert Garden, for more than a decade. As a horticulturist and landscape consultant in Phoenix, Noelle is an authority on native and desert-adapted plants suited to her hot, arid climate. Her website engages with lovely photos of her own colorful garden as well as others around town, and she’s generous with maintenance tips. I imagine these are especially useful to people who’ve relocated to the Desert Southwest and are wondering how in the heck to create a climate-resilient garden.

And now Noelle has packaged her vast experience and knowledge about desert gardening into book form! Dry Climate Gardening: Growing Beautiful, Sustainable Gardens in Low-Water Conditions comes out in March and is available for pre-order now. I received an advance copy for review and was pleased to write an endorsement for it:

Noelle’s book uproots all the stereotypes of gardening in an arid or semi-arid region. Instead of expanses of rock and cactus with a few boring clipped shrubs, she shows just how colorful and plant-rich — yet waterwise — a dry garden can be, while walking the reader through the practicalities of smart plant selection and maintenance. Everyone who relocates to the Desert Southwest, or who wants to refresh their yard to meet the challenges of climate change, should get this book and read it cover to cover.

I’m especially excited for Noelle’s book because her region, like my own here in Texas, is sorely underrepresented in magazines, books, and online. Not only that, gardening in a desert climate is a completely different experience than gardening somewhere more temperate. The plants are different. The seasons are different. The soil and even the sunlight are different. Noelle proves to be an excellent guide in helping any dry-climate gardener figure it all out.

While the book isn’t aimed at a Central Texas audience (we’re not a desert climate), there’s some overlap in terms of certain plants, like the purple trailing lantana and Pride of Barbados pictured above. And as our climate grows hotter, we would do well to look westward for planting strategies and species tolerant of both heat and drought, while being mindful of our possible deep freezes and drought-busting floods. West Texans, meanwhile, will find much of the book directly relevant to their low-water gardens.

Photo credit: All photos by Noelle Johnson from Dry Climate Gardening

Disclosure: Cool Springs Press sent me a copy of Dry Climate Gardening, and I reviewed it at my own discretion and without any compensation. This post, as with everything at Digging, is my personal opinion.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.

Make plans to attend the Budding Out Plant Sale & Festival on March 18 at the John Fairey Garden in Hempstead, TX. Rare and distinctive plants will be offered, as well as art, ceramics, jewelry, food, drink, music, and other entertainment for the whole family. Members have early access and get in free. Non-member admission is $5. Children 12 and under are free.

Experience the Surreal Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden, an enchanting neon-art display throughout the gardens, with food and drink, music and dancing, surreal performers, and interactive art sculptures. Surreal costumes encouraged! 25% of event proceeds benefit the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. Runs April 6 (VIP Night), April 7-8, and April 13-15, from 6:30 pm to 11 pm.

All material (C) 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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