The Dry Gardening Handbook

The Dry Gardening Handbook

Book review

Plants and practices for a changing climate by Olivier Filippi

New hardback edition of Olivier’s first classic guide to gardening in dry climates is back in print and available in the Algarve.

Making a garden that can withstand summer drought without being watered is the dream of many who wish to garden in harmony with their environment. In this classic work, first published in 2008, Olivier Filippi offers practical advice to achieve this goal based on his, and his wife Clara’s, experience of working with mediterranean-region plants for over 30 years.

Their specialist plant nursery in the south west of France supplies plants for dry gardens and also has a beautiful display garden – many photos in Olivier’s books are from this garden. The first part of the book examines the behaviour of plants that face drought in their natural habitat. Each Mediterranean climate zone is examined and typical plants described. What is drought and how do plants manage to survive when little water is available?

The second part is concerned with gardening techniques in a dry climate. How do you prepare the soil? When do you plant? How do you maintain a dry garden? The third and longest part describes in detail no less than 500 rewarding plants that are marvellously well adapted to dry gardens.

This detailed A-Z listing includes scientific name, geographical origin, size, position and hardiness, foliage, ideal soil conditions, as well as related or complementary plants, and is probably the most comprehensive list of drought-tolerant plants you can find in one place. This makes it easy for you to choose the right plant for the right place.

This book is essential reading for gardeners who live in the Algarve, one of the world’s Mediterranean climate zones, and will also be of interest to gardeners in areas where drought is becoming a recurring problem.

Armed with a new palette of plants and liberated from the hose and the sprinkler, this book invites you on a pioneering adventure that paves the way to a new style of gardening. Olivier is inspired by Mediterranean landscapes worldwide and offers us his unique vision of the beauty and range of climate-appropriate plants for our Mediterranean gardens.

Filbert Press; second edition
(20 Jun. 2019)
Hardcover: 208 pages
Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-1999734558

Available in the Algarve from the Mediterranean Gardening Association priced €40 – at events and by registered post. Other books by Olivier Filippi are also available in English and French.

By Rosie Peddle

The Dry Gardening Handbook