Home & Garden Highlight: Drought-Resistant Landscaping

Written by Rebekah Gonzalez

Hot summers often mean rationed water.  Luckily, it is possible to maintain a beautiful yard while conserving this precious resource.

Here are some recommended readings to help you design and maintain a beautiful, drought-resistant garden and/or landscape for the upcoming summer season.

Recommended Reading

Drought-Resistant Planting, book cover

Drought-Resistant Planting by Beth Chatto

The story of how Beth Chatto created her gravel garden on 'possibly the driest, and the most windswept, piece of soil in England' has a message of hope for gardeners everywhere. At the outset she promised herself: 'This garden was not to be irrigated in times of drought. Once established the plants must fend for themselves or die.'

The results, eloquently described by the author and beautifully portrayed in Steven Wooster's specially commissioned photographs taken through the seasons, testify to the triumphant outcome of the adventure.

Showing how her principles can be applied on any scale, this book is an essential read for any gardener facing water shortages and poor soil. Rich with hard-won tips and expressed in Beth Chatto's matchless style, this is a gardening classic.

The Drought-Defying California Garden, book cover

The Drought-Defying California Garden by Greg Rubin

In recent years California has been facing extreme drought, and in 2015 they passed state-wide water restrictions that affect home owners. Unfortunately the drought is only going to get worse, and gardeners who aren't willing to abandon their beloved pastime entirely are going to have to learn how to garden with the absolute minimum of water. The Drought-Defying California Garden offers gardeners in the Golden State everything they need to get started on a new type of garden. They highlight the best 230 plants to grow, share advice on how to get them established, and offer tips on how to maintain them with the minimum amount of water. All of the plants are native to California--making them uniquely adept at managing the harsh climate--and include perennials, annuals, shrubs, trees, and succulents.

Designing With Succulents, book cover

Designing With Succulents by Debra Lee Baldwin

This new, completely revised second edition of her bestselling classic is a design compendium that is as practical as it is inspirational. Designing with Succulents shares design and cultivation basics; hundreds of succulent plant recommendations; and profiles of 50 easy-care, drought-tolerant companion plants. Lavishly illustrated with 400 photographs, you will find everything you need to visualize, create, and nurture a thriving, water-smart succulent garden.

Climate-wise Landscaping, book cover

Climate-wise Landscaping by by Sue Reed

Practical steps anyone can take to beautify any landscape or garden, while helping protect the planet and the species that call it home. Topics include: Working actively to shrink our carbon footprint through mindful landscaping and gardening; creating cleaner air and water; increasing physical comfort during hotter seasons; supporting birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife.

Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens, book cover

Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens by by Lauren Springer Ogden

Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens is a practical guide to the best 200 plants guaranteed to thrive in low-water gardens. Plant entries provide the common and botanical name, the regions where the plant is best adapted, growth and care information, and notes on pests and disease. This practical and inspiring guide includes a variety of plants, from trees to succulents, perennials to bulbs, all selected for their wide adaptability and ornamental value. Companion plants, creative design ideas, and full color photography make this guide a must-have resource for any sustainable gardener.

Additional Reading

Plant This Instead!, book cover
Create a Mediterranean Garden, book cover
Gardening With Drought-Friendly Plants, book cover
The Colorful Dry Garden, book cover
Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates, book cover
Reimagining the California Lawn, book cover
Plants and Landscapes for Summer-dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region, book cover
 Sunset Western Garden Book of Easy-care Plantings, book cover
The Dry Gardening Handbook, book cover
Hot Color in the Dry Garden, book cover