Mediterranean Gardening: A Waterwise Approach / Edition 1

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Overview

Gardening in harmony with a Mediterranean climate means taking advantage of winter rain and allowing the garden to rest over hot summers. In this beautifully illustrated, practical handbook, Heidi Gildemeister provides both novice and experienced gardeners with a comprehensive guide for waterwise gardening, with over one thousand drought-tolerant Mediterranean plants chosen both for their beauty and for their easygoing ways. Well indexed with common and botanical names, Mediterranean Gardening will be indispensable not only for gardeners in California, the Mediterranean basin, and Mediterranean climate areas in South America, Australia, and Africa, but for anyone living in a region that experiences drought.

Gildemeister explains how drought-tolerant plants that are suitably matched with a site and carefully planted and mulched can live on winter rain and, once established, do not need additional summer water-as in nature. The Plant Selection lists over one thousand plants from nearly five hundred genera, including their preferred growing conditions, propagation, best use, and maintenance. Guidelines in eight steps describe the planning of waterwise gardens, such as for the establishment of dappled shade to conserve precious soil moisture. Successful alternatives to the water-intensive lawn offer attractive design ideas.

Mediterranean Gardening offers a wealth of information: "easy" plants for the beginner, new choices for the garden architect, and for botanists the latest findings on minimum temperatures plants can endure. An extensive bibliography covering drought tolerance and a list of useful addresses make this book as helpful to people converting to water-, labor-, and ecology-conscious gardening as to those starting from scratch.

Author Biography: Heidi Gildemeister converted a maquis-covered western Mediterranean landscape into a thriving ten-acre garden and became a pioneer of waterwise gardening in the Mediterranean region. A gardener of long and varied experience, she has gardened in Switzerland, the Andes, and on the Peruvian coast. She lectures worldwide and has contributed to The Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. She is a member of the Botanical Society of South Africa, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, and the International Dendrology Society and is a founding member and former president of the Mediterranean Garden Society.

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Editorial Reviews

Pacific Horticulture
This is no ordinary book on drought-tolerant plants, but the accumulated wisdom of twenty years spent learning about the Mediterranean climate, and its plants and soils. The learning was not the casual process of one warned by municipal authorities that water is becoming scarce, but the urgent seeking for knowledge of an intelligent gardener entirely dependent on rainfall . . . . The pictures, too, are delightfully different from those we have come to expect in books on waterwise gardening.
Library Journal
Gildemeister, a founding member of the Mediterranean Gardening Society and contributor to The Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, distills 20 years of experience gardening in water-scarce regions into this book on the benefits of gardening in harmony with the environment. After discussing the Mediterranean climate, which is distinguished by hot, dry summers and mild, wetter winters and of which there are five different regions across the world, including California, the author offers steps for designing a waterwise garden. There is practical advice on watering, nutrition, mulching, and maintenance, along with brief entries for more than 1000 drought-tolerant plants and numerous color photographs to give a good idea of the different plants available. The measurements are metric (but a conversion chart is provided), and some plants mentioned may be hard to find at your neighborhood nursery. Gardeners serious about adopting a natural approach for a dry climate will find this guide quite valuable, though beginners may want to start first with Mary Rose Duffield and Warren Jones's Plants for Dry Climates: How To Select, Grow, and Enjoy. For public libraries in Central and Southern California, the Southwest, or any other locale where there is an interest in dry climate gardening.-John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520236479
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/21/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 7.63 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Heidi Gildemeister converted a maquis-covered western Mediterranean landscape into a thriving ten-acre garden and became a pioneer of waterwise gardening in the Mediterranean region. A gardener of long and varied experience, she has gardened in Switzerland, the Andes, and on the Peruvian coast. She lectures worldwide and has contributed to The Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. She is a member of the Botanical Society of South Africa, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, and the International Dendrology Society and is a founding member and former president of the Mediterranean Garden Society.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Introduction and Acknowledgements 8
Ch. 1 The Environment 10
The Mediterranean Climate: A Review of the Background 12
The Dominant Forces: Assets and Challenges 16
Mediterranean Plant Communities: Plant Life through the Seasons 20
Native Drought-Tolerant Plants: How they Function and Survive 24
The Soil: Its Structure, Life and Care 28
Ch. 2 Waterwise Garden Planning and Design 32
The Way Ahead: Water-saving Gardening in Eight Steps 34
Step 1 Planning Your Garden 36
Step 2 Creating Plant Cover and Shade 40
Step 3 Using Drought-Tolerant Plants 44
Step 4 Reducing the Lawn, Alternatives 46
Step 5 Grouping Plants for Water Needs 52
Step 6 Planning Water Management 54
Step 7 Using Water-Saving Practices 56
Step 8 A Waterwise Garden for all Seasons 58
Ch. 3 Waterwise Gardencraft 60
Planting or The Happiness of Roots 62
Mulch. The Gardener's Ally 66
Water. Its Wise Use 70
Nutrition. Soil, the Primary Source 74
Health. How to Prevent an early Death 78
Pruning for Health, Growth and Flowering 82
Weeds. Friend or Foe? 84
Propagation. Simple Ways 86
Maintenance 90
Ch. 4 Plant Selection 92
How to Choose Drought-Tolerant Plants 94
Plant Lists for Specific Uses 96
1000 Drought-Tolerant Plants 100
Glossary 196
Useful Addresses 197
Bibliography 199
Index 201
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