Defining and Defying Drought

An ongoing concern at Flowers by the Sea -- the horticultural farm and online nursery in Northern California that publishes Salvia Guru -- is the lengthy West Coast drought. One FBTS specialty is growing a broad range of xeric plants for dry conditions.

Drought is a condition in which an area receives less than historically normal levels of precipitation over a prolonged period of time. Reports from the University of Nebraska-based National Drought Monitor show that it isn't limited to West. A persistent shortage can occur almost anywhere in the nation, although super damp Indiana seems to be immune.

Lack of precipitation is also a major concern for many parts of Australia, especially when preceded or followed by floods -- a situation that results in soil that doesn't retain moisture. Australia's Organic Gardener magazine is the source of our opening feature about how to repair hydrophobic soil.

Additional drought-related links in this issue include: (1) Contra Costa County's rebate program paying homeowners to replace lawns with xeriscape and (2) a summer 2014 report from the University of California, Davis, about Salvias being top drought-resistant plantings for nourishing bees.

If you know other gardeners who are interested in waterwise landscaping or the colorful, resilient Salvia genus, please share information about free subscription to our publication.

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