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Perennials for the Southwest: Plants That Flourish in Arid Gardens

By Mary Irish

Full of the kind of seasoned, practical information that comes from two decades of firsthand experience.

Sunset

Drawing upon her vast knowledge of perennials and how they perform in the arid Southwest, Mary Irish has produced the definitive guide for gardeners who want to create lush, colorful gardens while keeping artificial irrigation to a minimum. This book will help Southwest gardeners meet the challenge of growing perennials successfully by providing inspired, practical information on how to design dry-climate gardens and an A–Z guide to 156 proven plants. Each entry includes the plant's scientific and common names, distribution, cultural needs, drought tolerance, and ornamental characteristics. Written in a clear, reader-friendly style and profusely illustrated with sparkling color photographs, this invaluable volume makes Irish's expertise available to every gardener.

Media reviews

"A perfect reference for transplanted gardeners looking for substitutes for their roses and campanulas, and for seasoned natives who need some delicate-leaved things to balance all those agaves and aloes."

—Sara Begg, Horticulture

"With her deep Southwestern plant knowledge, personal anecdotes, and wry sense of humor, Irish is becoming the doyenne of Southwest garden writing. Full of both common and rare perennials for our region with photographs, Perennials for the Southwest gives both beginners and seasoned plant geeks reasons to keep reading."

—Scott Calhoun, Country Gardens

"Mary's plant descriptions are lively and very useful ... her new book is a must read for desert gardeners and arm chair gardeners alike."

—M. Norem, Desert Plants

"The book is designed to help you meet the challenge of choosing plants, knowing how to use them effectively and caring for them. It provides inspired, practical information on how to design dry climate gardens as well as everything you need to know about soil, planting, watering, feeding, propagating, and pests and diseases."

—Carolyn Muse Grant, Southern Nevada Home & Garden

"Full of the kind of seasoned, practical information that comes from two decades of firsthand experience."

—Sharon Cohoon, Sunset

"For southwestern gardeners, this book is indispensible; for the rest of us, it's a vacation to a beautiful and exotic landscape."

American Gardener

"Gives simple-to-understand design principles, covering subjects such as scale, outdoor rooms, color usage, and important concepts on successful blending of succulents with perennials for dynamic textures."

—Judy Wigand, San Diego Union-Tribune

"This is the definitive guide for gardeners who want to create lush, colorful gardens with plants proven to thrive in an arid setting. ... Written in a clear, reader-friendly style and illustrated with sparkling color photographs, this book is a must for every gardener."

—Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic

"The photos that illustrate each species ... are clear and seductive, giving each plant its chance to win our hearts. ... The book would be worth its weight in penstemon seeds if only for the list of 23 botanical Web sites, all vetted by Irish for accuracy and relevance."

—Stuart Kellogg, Victorville Daily Press

About the author

Mary Irish

Mary Irish is a prominent voice in southwestern horticulture. She once hosted a weekly Phoenix-based radio show called "The Arizona Gardener," and has appeared on countless news and lifestyle programs on television regarding desert gardening.

Read more about Mary Irish

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