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Rain Gardening In The South: Ecologically Designed Gardens For Drought, Deluge And Everything In Between

The first book directed at the consumer/home gardener market on this important new gardening movement, Rain Gardening in the South is a colorful, readable how-to guide on creating beautiful gardens that capture and use water that runs off roofs, driveways, and other hard surfaces in our landscape. Written by horticulturists Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford, Rain Gardening in the South helps gardeners use our most precious resource wisely. Rain gardens maximize rainwater, enhance the landscape, and promote environmental stewardship. Runoff from out yards, roofs, and driveways contributes more than a third of the pollution that ends upin our nation's waterways. Rain gardens, which function as miniature water reservoirs and filtrations systems, offer effective and visually pleasing solutions that dramatically reduce toxic runoff, resulting in cleaner rivers, lakes, and oceans. Ironically, rain gardens are more drought tolerant than most conventional gardens. Because of plant selection and their ability to store water, rain gardens flourish during dry spells as well as rainy seasons, making them particularly conducive to the South and its unpredictable rainfall. This four-color book addresses the specific environmental circumstances of southern gardeners, including climate issues, plant selection, and soil types. The book offers readers step-by-step instruction on constructing such gardens, from the design stage to post-plating maintenance. it also includes extensive design tips, plant lists, and soil amendment instructions, as well as a chapter on troubleshooting.Rain Gardening in the South, by Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford, received the Silver award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association. In addition, Rain Gardening in the South won the Silver Benjamin Franklin Award in the Gardening/Agriculture category from the Independent Book Publishers Association and an Honorable Mention in the Home & Garden category for the Eric Hoffer Award.

Paperback: 143 pages

Publisher: Eno Publishers; 1St Edition edition (April 30, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0982077106

ISBN-13: 978-0982077108

Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,399,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #60 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Climate > Temperate #207 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Region > South #926 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Landscape

I thought this book was really well done, except for two issues. I was shocked to see that the authors have some exotic invasive plants in their plant list (barberry, spirea, vinca, mahonia, nandina, yellow flag iris, miscanthus and butterfly bush.) My first reaction was maybe those plants are invasive in Tennessee where I live but not across the south, but apparently they are. So, in my opinion the title of the book "Ecologically Designed Gardens" is really a misnomer. There are lots of wonderful resources on the web about exotic invasive plants. I also suggest the book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (Brooklyn Botanic Garden All-Region Guide)" by C. Colston Burrell. If you are a skeptic about the threat of exotic invasive plants, I suggest you talk to the naturalists at your local park to hear first hand how exotic invasive plants are destroying native plant communities in our natural areas. The threat is very real and gardeners need to be responsible when they choose plants.The other issue is that the authors use a "constant" to calculate the size of the rain garden, which does not make sense to me and results in a rain garden that's much too small. Based on my research, the authors of "The Blue Thumb Guide to Rain Gardens" use an approach that makes a lot more sense. They suggest you do a simple infiltration test to see how deep your rain garden should be to allow the rain water to infiltrate within 24 hours. Then you do some simple math to calculate the surface area that will drain into the rain garden and the size necessary to capture that rain. For example, assume you were planning to have a 6 inch deep rain garden and you have 600 square feet of roof.

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