208 pages, 350 col photos
Heidi Gildemeister, long-term Mediterranean gardener and contributor to the RHS Dictionary of Gardening, the gardener's bible, shares her 20 years experience of gardening in drought-ridden areas of the world. Learning through trial and error she has today managed to perfect the ideal cultivation methods for growing over 1000 differing plants in this specific climate. Being dry and hot and receiving only variable amounts of winter rain, the method of planting and correct siting becomes all-important. Mulches, initial watering, dappled shade and shelter-belts all help in settling in the vast range of plants that are happy in these situations. Familiar plants such as clematis, paeonia and helianthus mingle with the more exotic passiflora, neriums and hedychiums, all thriving in these harsh conditions and enduring lower than expected temperatures. Pertinent more than ever today in this age of global warming, this is an invaluable guide to all those longing to have a watering-free garden. And with water meters now becoming the norm, Heidi's advice will save you money too. Written in an affable, assured manner, she willingly admits her failures, teaching gardeners in the UK, Mediterranean and Mediterranean-type climates around the world how to make the most of their specific situation. - Lucy Watson
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