W e were slightly panicky when we learned that two classic plant-selection references had gone out of print: East Bay MUD’s Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Area (2004), and the venerable Sunset Western Garden Book*. Fortunately, the authors of EBMUD’s book, Nora Harlow and Saxon Holt, have come to the rescue, publishing a new, expanded guide entitled Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates: Plants for a Lush Water-Conscious Landscape (Timber Press, 2020). 

Their book includes a directory of climate-suitable plants, as well as chapters discussing water management, living with wildfire, gardening practices to promote carbon capture, plants for especially challenging (hot, dry, windy) sites, and descriptions of the Pacific coast’s nine summer-dry climate zones. Highly recommended! 

Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates: Softcover, $29.95. 

*The Sunset Western Garden Book is as near to a bible as a gardening book could possibly be. However, its current publisher (a division of Time, Inc., last we heard) appears to have no plans to reprint or revise it.