Sun Drenched GardensThe interest in the mediterranean style of gardening has been growing as water shortages have increased and made xeriscaping desirable or necessary. Mediterranean gardens have many appealing features and Jan Smithen explores them in her book,  Sun Drenched Gardens. Your climate may not have the hot dry summers followed by mild rainy winters that are typical of the mediterranean climate but many of the features found in the gardens of such a climate are desirable and doable in other climates too and this book is a beautiful introduction to them.

The author introduces the reader to the mediterranean look with descriptions and photographs of twenty five public and private gardens in mediterranean areas from Italy, France, Spain, and California. She explains how to achieve the look with plantings, water features, enclosures, garden ornaments, creation of shade, and use of paving materials. Throughout the book, the text provides the historical background to explain the development of the mediterranean style of gardening and all its features and the photographs with their extensive captions provide the details. The captions are truly noteworthy as a source of information; they not only provide a description of the garden shown and its location, but also give the botanical and common name of the plants. The intimate relationship between the photographs and the printed words makes the learning experience all the more fun and exciting.

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By Karen