What to Read

Great Reads to Inspire!

There is an endless list of great books that can assist you and inspire you in this process including the following:


Desert Gardening & Plants

Agaves: Living Sculptures for Landscapes and Containers. Greg Starr, 2012

Agaves, Yuccas, and Related Plants. Mary and Gary Irish, 2000

Arizona Gardener’s Guide. Mary Irish, 2002

Arizona Low Desert Flower Garden: A Seasonal Guide to Bloom, Height, Color, and Texture. Kirti Mathura, 2007

Chasing Wildflowers: A Mad Search for Wild Gardens. Scott Calhoun, 2007

Cool Plants for Hot Gardens: 200 Water-Smart Choices for the Southwest. Greg Starr, 2009

The Desert Gardener’s Calendar. George Brookbank, 1999

Desert Landscaping: How to Start and Maintain a Healthy Landscape in the Southwest. George Brookbank, 1992

Desert Landscaping for Beginners. Cathy Cromell, ed., 2001

Designer Plant Combinations, 105 Stunning Gardens Using Six Plants or Fewer. Scott Calhoun, 2008

Earth-Friendly Desert Gardening. Cathy Cromell, Jo Miller, and Lucy K. Bradley, 2003

The Gardener’s Guide to Cactus: The 100 Best Paddles, Barrels, Columns, and Globes. Scott Calhoun, 2012

Gardening in the Desert: A Guide to Plant Selection and Care. Mary Irish, 2000

The Hot Garden: Landscape Design for the Desert Southwest. Scott Calhoun, 2009

Hot Pots: Container Gardening in the Arid Southwest. Scott Calhoun and Lynn Hassler, 2009

How to Grow the Wildflowers. Eric Johnson and Scott Millard, 1993

Landscape Plants for Dry Regions. Warren Jones and Charles Sacamano, 2000

Month-By-Month Gardening in the Deserts of Arizona. Mary Irish, 2008

Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes. Judy Mielke, 1993

Perennials for the Southwest: Plants that Flourish in Arid Gardens. Mary Irish, 2006

Plants for Dry Climates: How to Select, Grow, and Enjoy. Mary Rose Duffield and Warren Jones, 2001

The New Sunset Western Garden Book. Kathleen Norris Brenzel, ed., 2012

Trees and Shrubs for the Southwest: Woody Plants for Arid Gardens. Mary Irish, 2008

Yard Full of Sun: The Story of a Gardener’s Obsession That Got a Little Out of Hand. Scott Calhoun, 2005


Irrigation & Maintenance

Care of Desert-Adapted Plants. Della C. Fletcher and Patricia H. Waterfall, 1998

Guidelines for Landscape Drip Irrigation Systems. Arizona Landscape Irrigation Guidelines Committee, 2001

Pruning, Planting & Care: Plants for the Arid West. Eric A. Johnson and Scott Millard, 1996

Sprinklers & Drip Systems. Editors of Sunset Books, 2006


Rainwater Harvesting and Graywater

City of Tucson Residential Graywater Guide. Justin Cupp and C. Alan Nichols, 2011

Design for Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment, and Alternative Water Reuse. Heather Kinkade-Levario, 2007

Graywater Guidelines. Val L. Little, 2003

Harvesting Rainwater: Guide to Water-Efficient Landscaping. Patricia H. Waterfall and Christina Bickelmann, 2013

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond (Vols. 1 second edition and 2). Brad Lancaster, 2013 and 2008


Free Publications Available from Most City Water Conservation Offices (partial list)

Good Reasons to Take Out Your Grass. Also online.

Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert: Guide to Growing More Than 200 Low-Water-Use Plants. Also online.

Landscape Watering by the Numbers: A Guide for the Arizona Desert. Also online.