The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Johanna Silver, photos by Marion Brenner. Timber, $34.95 (236p) ISBN 978-1-60469-670-7
Combining biography of the dry garden’s pioneer with a landscaper’s guide, Silver, a garden editor for Sunset magazine, and photographer Brenner tour the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, Calif., and discuss the life and work of its creator and namesake. Bancroft, a centenarian , is considered a pioneer of the dry garden in both horticulture and design. The book highlights how this peculiar type of garden can thrive in the desert’s extreme conditions with very little water. The standard image summoned for a desert garden is the cactus, and there are plenty in this book, along with various combinations of cultivars of the agave, bromeliads, sedums, wildflowers, irises, palm, and eucalyptus trees (naming a few). In conjunction with Bancroft’s time-tested expertise, the disparate parts of a desolate landscape become a unified whole, exploding with color and texture. The key to transforming dry ground into a thriving garden involves making good use of the land itself, especially rocks, which lend ballast and form and offer optimal growing conditions for stonecrop favorites such as the sempervivum. Replete with brilliant color photography, this hopeful book will win over anyone who doubts that a desolate landscape can support thriving life. Color photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 10/05/2016
Open Ebook - 236 pages - 978-1-60469-772-8
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