Two New Garden & Landscape Books Cover Water Shortage Issues



By Noelle Johnson ∙ Publishing March 7, 2023

Author and desert horticulturist Noelle Johnson, also known as AZ Plant Lady, delivers all the know-how you need to grow a breathtaking, colorful, and vibrant garden in low-water conditions. With water restrictions and the number of gardeners dealing with drought conditions on the rise, we all need to get more creative in the way we grow. Water-wise landscaping is a must for millions of gardeners. In Dry Climate Gardening, you’ll learn how to do it with care and style.

With careful plant selection and thoughtful design, you can create a low-water landscape that’s an oasis for humans and wildlife alike. There are hundreds of plants well-suited to xeric conditions, and with the proper care, they create a living desert landscape that will stop passersby in their tracks. Let Dry Climate Gardening be your guide to crafting a climate-appropriate outdoor living. Inside you’ll find:

  • The best arid-adapted plants to feature in your landscape
  • Information on which plants struggle in dry climates and how to avoid them
  • The five “desert seasons” and which are best for planting
  • How to handle desert soils
  • Plant care techniques specific to dry climates, including pruning, fertilizing, and morebooks
  • How to design a planting for maximum impact and minimal water needs
  • Plant profiles and charts for every category, from trees and shrubs to groundcovers, vines, succulents, and perennials
  • Sample garden designs and plant lists you can adapt to your own space

Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist, landscape consultant, and garden writer who lives in the Phoenix, AZ, metro area. Popularly known as “AZ Plant Lady,” her passion is inspiring and teaching people to create, grow, and maintain beautiful gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She is the author of the popular blog Desert Gardening 101, where she has been imparting essential gardening advice for over 10 years. Over her career, Noelle has written for Water Use It WiselyBirds & Blooms magazine, Houzz and Phoenix Home & Garden magazine. Her goal is to give people the knowledge they need to create, grow, and maintain a beautiful garden that thrives in a hot, dry climate.

See also Turf’s article “Experts Choices For Xeric Turfgrass & More.”




How to use sustainable, low-maintenance, low-water groundcovers to replace your turf  

By Kathy Jentz ∙ Publishing February 7, 2023

Reducing the lawn is among the biggest trends in homeownership, with an endless stream of homeowners looking for an eco-friendly alternative to a traditional turfgrass lawn. In the last few years alone, over 23 million American adults converted part of their lawn to a natural landscape, and now they’re looking to do even more.

The biggest challenge? Knowing how and when to replace turf, and which plants are the best ones for the job. Groundcover Revolution is here with answers, including:

  • How replacing a lawn with groundcovers reduces resource consumption on a significant level
  • Why groundcovers require far less long-term maintenance than turf after establishment
  • The many additional benefits of groundcovers: erosion control, a reduction in chemical usage, biodiversity, and mitigation of climate change as a carbon sink
  • The ways groundcovers overcome challenges such as tree roots, compacted soils, poor drainage, and dense shade
  • The step-by-step mechanics of: how to get rid of the lawn; how to place and plant groundcovers from seeds, plugs, or transplants; and how to care for a new “quilted lawn” once it’s in place.

Also included are 40 in-depth profiles of plants choices for replacing a grass lawn. There are options for sun, for shade, for dry and wet sites, and for various climates around the globe. There are choices that bloom, options that are evergreen, and selections that are deer resistant. Jentz has also included a chart with specifics on each of the 40 choices for quick reference.

Both books are published by Cool Springs Press.

See also Turf’s article “Groundcover Alternatives To Mulch.”