More information about attractive desert gardens is available from many sources. Here is a suggested reading list:
- “Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes.”
Judy Mielke, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.
Great resource for beginners and advanced gardeners who would like to use native plants for landscaping. Information on more than 300 native species suitable for arid landscapes, with color photos of each species and detailed information on care and maintenance.
- “Plants for Dry Climates: How to Select, Grow and Enjoy.”
Mary Rose Duffield and Warren D. Jones, Fisher Books.
Part one covers the basics of landscaping in an arid climate. Part two is a catalog of plants for landscape use in the arid Southwest. It has photos, useful ideas and information on uses in the landscape, environmental requirements, disadvantages and plant care.
- “Southwestern Landscaping That Saves Energy and Water.”
E. Gregory McPherson and Charles Sacamano, Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. How to select and place plants to control the effects of sun and wind on buildings, thus reducing heating and cooling bills. Covers selection of low-water-use plants, irrigation methods and landscape maintenance methods to conserve water. Includes design tips and examples.
- “How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest.”
Jill Nokes, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.
Excellent how-to for many plants that can be grown in Arizona, although it includes many that are not well-suited to the desert climate. Covers seed-gathering, germination, transplanting and vegetative reproduction.
- “Southwestern Landscaping With Native Plants.”
Judith Phillips, Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Comprehensive coverage of landscape design for low maintenance, planting and maintenance methods for plants of the arid Southwest, and plant reproduction.
- “Desert Shrubs;” “Desert Trees;” “Desert Accent Plants” (under revision); “Desert Ground Covers and Vines;” “Desert Wildflowers;” “Desert Grasses;” “Desert Bird Gardening;” “Desert Butterfly Gardening.” Urban Landscape Committee, Arizona Native Plant Society, Tucson, Arizona. This series of booklets presents dozens of desert plants suitable for urban landscapes in southern and western Arizona. A photo, description, information on cold hardiness, water requirements, maintenance and uses in the landscapes are provided for each species. There are brief sections on design and tips for planting and care.
- “Xeriscape: Landscaping With Style in the Arizona Desert” and “Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert.” Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, Phoenix, Arizona. The first booklet describes the xeriscape concept of landscape design and how to use it to create attractive low-water-use landscapes. The second booklet lists low-water-use plants and provides information needed to successfully incorporate them into a xeriscape.
- “Desert Landscaping: How to Start and Maintain a Healthy Landscape in the Southwest.” George Bookbank, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.
Excellent guide to landscape maintenance in the desert. Also covers installation of drip irrigation and planting methods.