In their new book Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens: 200 Drought-Tolerant Choices for all Climates, Lauren Springer Ogden and Scott Ogden offer a unique resource of 200 adaptive plants ranging from trees to cacti. Accompanying the introductory page to each section, the authors’ beautifully photographed garden vignettes illustrate accomplished examples of textural tapestries and well proportioned compositions; gardens rich in species and relationships. I find this book both refreshing and useful. The symbols included with each plant, from site preference to pollinator partner, help organize and define choices.
Cultural/habitat descriptions, design suggestions and general guidelines on watering, mulching, and maintenance are garnered from their “three decades of experience designing and tending gardens in zones 4 through 10.” Their ambitious plant palette covers trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, bulbs, succulents and cacti, and short-lived flowering plants. Whether suggesting more imaginative combinations for well-known plants or newer varieties, artful garden design ideas navigate us through new terrain.
The authors’ dynamic and pleasing gardens are created from a refined aesthetic coupled with distinctive signature selections. The gardens display a visual cohesiveness inviting a sense of reverence for their surroundings, while expressively revealing the spirit of the region. They emote and echo the feeling of spontaneity all around us in Nature.
Maggie Lee, garden designer
Santa Fe, New Mexico