Friday, December 18, 2009

This Book is Terrific!

Rain Gardening in the South: Ecologically Designed Gardens for Drought, Deluge, & Everything in Between by Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford.

I was invited to review this book* after I posted about being such a fan of Rain Gardens here. I received a copy of the book in the mail, and have had my nose in it at every opportunity since then! This is a terrific book!

This is an excellent resource, and not just for the novice. Written in clear simple language, it is easy to understand. Beautifully illustrated, both with pictures and drawings. If you didn't want a rain garden when you started this book, you definitely want one when you finish it!

This book is devoted to solving problems for the gardener. They start at the beginning, and take you step by step through the how, what, and why of building a rain garden, and continue with pages of suggestions for what to plant in your garden, (either sun or shade) and include valuable information on troubleshooting, and maintenance of your garden. They also discuss other methods of conserving our most precious resource, rain water.

If you are looking for a nice gift for a friend, or a great addition to your own library of gardening books, I would wholeheartedly recommend Rain Gardening in the South!

Published by Eno Publishers
Hillsborough, NC 27278

144 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9820771-0-8.
Suggested retail price $19.95.

*This is my opinion. I was not paid for endorsing this book, and had I not fallen in love with it, I would not have written a review of it.~janie


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It sounds like a great book! I really didn't know that much about rain gardening (at least not the type of rain gardening we have in the PNW :) ) until reading about it on your blog.
PS Thanks for the great idea for keeping my fish safe. I replied to the comment on my blog but wasn't sure if you'd check back. I hope we'll get to see more of your pond too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie, thanks for letting us know about this resource. We know nothing about rain gardens, but admire the concept. I am so glad you are happy with that book too, something you will get a lot of use from, it sounds like. My son in Asheville has a rain garden, it might make a good gift for him. Hmmmm. :-)

Ian Percy said...

Hi Janie,
Looks like an interesting book.
What is the flower on the cover? It looks like our native plant "Cat's Whiskers".
cheers Ian

Wendy said...

I may check it out. I'll have to figure out if I'm considered "south" though - sometime southerners consider us northerners, but northerners consider us part of the south!

jo©o said...

Hi Janie,
followed you from Esther.
About this book: the title seems a misnomer to me.
A rain garden in my view is one where you get too much rain and try to have plants cope with it. Like ours in the UK.
Even though we have ten 300-liter rain barrels, because tap water is too chlorine- and fluoride- laden, and we garden on pure sand, which dries within the hour, we still have more trouble with heavy rain that with drought.
The title might prevent the book reaching the hands of those that truly need it. I expected a solution for rain sodden plants and rotting bulbs :-)

Jo Ann said...

Thanks for the tip I'm always looking for new books to read..Happy Holidays

janie said...

A rain garden provides many ways to manage rain water that rushes off impervious surfaces.

I also have a problem with too much water for bulbs. We have clay soil, very poor drainage, so when we get a lot of water, and we do quite often, (like NOW), my bulbs can rot. A good friend once advised me to plant my bulbs under my deciduous trees, and that works very well. The trees pull up enormous amounts of water, leaving just enough for the bulbs. With no leaves in the bright Spring, they get plenty of sun to bloom.

You can improve your soil with as much compost as you can find, to help your sandy soil hold moisture, and incorporate a system of simple drains in your gardens, to get rid of the excess. Another thing that I can do is plant bulbs that don't mind a lot of water. We can't grow tulips, period, so they are out of the question, but daffodils, alliums, glads, crocosmia, ranunculus, anemones, spider lilies, and many other tubers and corms will grow well, if I am careful. Spider lilies, will grow in a pond, as will cannas, elephant ears, and many iris.

It could be that channeling your excess rainwater from your bulb garden into a garden where water can stand for a short while and trickle into the soil below would be an idea solution to your problem. I think you would be amazed at the difference that amending your 'pure sand' soil would make. My Dad used to garden in that kind of soil, and the only solution was to amend, amend, amend.

Thanks for the comments, all. I always love to read what everybody has to say.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, or Happy Holidays to you all!

Anonymous said...


日月神教-向左使 said...