Series: Gardener's Guides
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Cool Springs Press (December 13, 2002)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #104,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #10 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Climate > Desert #11 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Region > Southwest #61 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Landscape
This book is one of the best introductions I've found on gardening in the Sonoran desert. It is well-designed, with graphical cues that tell readers if the plant is drought-tolerant, fragrant, wildlife-friendly, Sonoran, etc.Information is presented in convenient and easily digested sections, e.g., shrubs, trees, vines, etc. Common names are featured prominently, with botanical names underneath. (I eventually learned the botanical names so that I could read and understand books that offered more in-depth information, e.g., on particular agaves, yuccas and nolinas.) It also includes brief information on care, companion planting, bloom period, size (you'd be surprised how big some of these plants get), etc.If you seek books with greater depth, check out "Agaves, Yuccas, and Related Plants: A Gardener's Guide" by Gary and Mary Irish, or "Landscape Plants for Dry Regions: More Than 600 Species From Around the World" by Warren Jones and Charles Sacamano. Another good resource for Sonoran gardeners is the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix (they offer a hotline and many other resources).
Information from books written by authors without the experience of gardening in Arizona, do not work in this state. Mary Irish has spent her life working for a variety of Arizona gardening organizations. She knows the climate so her information works... simple as that.This book is good for making plant selections when planning your garden. It offers nice photos and hardiness information specific to Arizona climate and soil conditions. Use in conjunction with Irish's Month-By-Month Gardening in the Desert Southwest and you should succeed.There is a very short list of books required for Arizona gardening (see my list on )... but this one is high on it.
We moved to Arizona two years ago, and my wife wanted a good quick reference guide to use in planting and tending our desert garden. This book fills the bill nicely, providing descriptions and clear photos of approximately 200 plants, along with tips on how to best use them in a garden. Ms. Irish's writing style is straightfoward, even a bit plodding, but readable. A good companion to "Plants for Dry Climates" by Duffield and Jones.
This book is the best gardening book that I have found for Tucson, AZ. The author divides the information into sections, such as Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs, Trees, etc. For each plant there is a picture on the page with care, growing tips, where and how to plant it, mature size, blooming period, and other interesting tips for the particular plant. This book has saved me alot of money by not investing in something that will not grow well here in Tucson. So far, everything I have planted using Mary Irish's advice this spring is still growing and blooming, even in our 100+ degree heat!
I have had this book for over 2 years since I moved to Arizona from New England. I bought it with the intentions of helping it guide me in the right direction with my newly landscaped backyard and front yard. Upon first inspection, it seems like a great book, great photos, and all the upfront information you want, condensed into one page per plant. It's very easy to use and well laid out. HOWEVER, I have to say that after 2 years of trying to go by her watering guidelines, I now have an overly fried yard. I have tried to follow all her watering recommendations and finally gave up after 2 years of failing to produce a nice looking yard. After consulting with a local landscaper, come to find out, I should be watering most of my plants three times a week in the summers, as compared to Irish's recommendations of once per week (even in the low desert)! I find her watering recommendations to be WAY off from everyone else I talk to who lives here, and who has beautiful yards. For this reason, I'm giving this book 2 thumbs down. I also should mention that I subscribe to Phoenix Home and Garden magazine and consistently come across huge discrepancies between Mary Irish's book, and what PH&G recommends. Someone has to be wrong here, and I think it's Mary Irish. Too bad, because otherwise it's a great book!
Comprehensive guide to large assortment of shrubs, trees, succulents, cacti, vines palms and more.lots of helpful photos, care descriptions and tips. Having lived my life on the East a Coast, this is an invaluable guide to the huge array of suitable desert garden plants.
Bought this one to give away to a newcomer gardener in Phoenix. Mary Irish is the consummate go-to author for everything about gardening in the desert. If I only had one desert gardening book, this would be the one. I also have her month-by-month guide and like it too.
If you live and garden in Arizona you should get this book. Virtually all of the advice offered is right on target. I use raised beds for everything but trees and Mary Irish has me even rethinking that. I would have given it five stars but the section of pest control was a bit too thin for my tastes. Everything else was excellent.
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