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Many of the 542 color photographs show plants in garden settings to suggest attractive and compatible plant combinations. Summary charts provide information on each plant, such as bloom time, needs for water and sun, and preferences for coastal or inland microclimates. Lists suggest plants for special situations, such as hot sites, dryish shade, small gardens, and clay soils.
Chapters on landscape design and maintenance inspire readers to make gardens that use little water and no harmful chemicals, with a focus on building healthy soil. Practical steps to successful design are supplemented with ideas for designing with microclimate, attracting wildlife, and fire safety. Sidebars by local experts discuss weather, natural landscapes, design solutions, and gardening with recycled water.
"A valuable resource for climate-compatible gardening in the San Franciso Bay Area that will also be of interest to gardeners in other parts of the world with a similar seasonal pattern of winter rain and dry summers. This book will occupy a prominent place in my library for many years to come."—Katherine Greenberg, president Mediterranean Garden Society
"This book is beautifully designed with abundant photographs of plants, many in garden settings, and it is packed with the kind of information gardeners need for their own special situations. Simply stunning! Bravo!"—Phyllis M. Faber, editor University of California Press