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A British book for Northwest gardeners

"Drought-Resistant Planting: Lessons from Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden"

Most of us think of English gardens as lush, green paradises watered by a rainy climate. That's true in some places, but London gets less rain than Seattle, 24 inches a year. And Beth Chatto's garden gets an average of 20 inches, usually distributed fairly evenly over the year but with occasional summer droughts. This is about as much as Coupeville and much less than Seattle's 38 inches.

So she has a lot to teach us about water-wise gardens. Not instantly transferable, but definitely worth a look, especially since many books on drought-tolerant plants are written for California or other areas with climates unlike ours.

In addition to gravelly soil (a plus for drought-tolerant plants) she also mulched with an inch or two of 1/2 inch gravel, a practice gardeners here could use as well. Somehow gravelly soil seems to grow good plants, probably because of the extra air it holds.

Lots of beautiful photos and plant profiles. Definitely worth looking at!


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