For gardeners who want to conserve water, the color, fragrance, shade, and lush vegetation of a traditional garden may seem like a mirage in the desert. But such gardens can flourish when native plants grow in them. In this book, Judy Mielke, an expert on Southwestern gardening, offers the most comprehensive guide available to landscaping with native plants. Writing simply enough for beginning gardeners, while also providing ample information for landscape professionals, she presents over three hundred trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, groundcovers, wildflowers, cacti, and other native plants suited to arid landscapes.
The heart of the book lies in the complete descriptions and beautiful color photographs of plants native to the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Mielke characterizes each plant and gives detailed information on its natural habitat, its water, soil, light, temperature, and pruning requirements, and its possible uses in landscape design.
In addition, Mielke includes informative discussions of desert ecology, growing instructions for native plants and wildflowers, and "how-to" ideas for revegetation of disturbed desert areas using native plants. She concludes the book with an extensive list of plants by type, including those that have specific features such as shade or fragrance. She also supplies a list of public gardens that showcase native plants.