Author(s): Johanna Silver
Celebrate and recreate the beauty of The Ruth Bancroft Garden! Ruth Bancroft is a dry gardening pioneer. Her lifelong love of plants led to the creation of one of the most acclaimed public gardens, The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California. The Bold Dry Garden offers unparalleled access to the garden and the extraordinary woman responsible for it. In its stunningly photographed pages, you'll discover the history of the garden and the design principles and plant palette that make it unique. Packed with growing and maintenance tips, profiles of signature plants for a dry garden, and innovative design techniques, The Bold Dry Garden has everything you need to create a garden that is lush, water wise, and welcoming.
This stunning book shares the design principles that have made the Ruth Bancraft Garden an iconic American garden and shows readers how to create lush, low-water landscapes that thrive in arid conditions.
"This sumptuous book will inspire you to create your own water-saving paradise." --Flora Grubb, owner of Flora Grubb Gardens "This book wonderfully reveals Ruth's enduring lessons in the power of creativity and imagination--and big, bold compositions--to transform even the most unpromising landscape into a work of art." --Jenny Young du Pont, president and CEO of The Garden Conservancy "Ruth Bancroft's garden is a rare combination of an artist's vision and a meticulous collector's passion--an invaluable resource that showcases the rich textures, structures, and colors of dry plants." --Andrea Cochran FASLA, principal of Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture "The Bold Dry Garden beautifully showcases the glorious garden Ruth Bancroft so courageously created." --Bernard Trainor, bernard trainor + associates "For those of you--and your numbers are growing--gardening in drought-stricken parts of the country, Johanna Silver's The Bold Dry Garden: Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden will quench your thirst for inspiration. This dazzling three-and-a-half-acre succulent garden in Walnut Creek, Calif., was the Garden Conservancy's first preservation project. Marion Brenner's elegant photographs ably capture the architectural drama of its bold forms and eccentric groupings, as well as the strange and intriguing textures of individual agaves, cycads, euphorbias and sedums. Plump or spiny, tiny or looming, succulents have enormous variety and endless appeal. It seems almost criminal to avoid them in favor of lawns." --The New York Times Book Review "The American garden, located in Walnut Creek, CA, that inspired the Garden Conservancy is handsomely portrayed precisely when people should follow Bancroft's lead of using xerophytic plants, challenging convention, and paying attention to climate cues." --Library Journal starred review "Combining biography of the dry-garden pioneer with a landscaper's guide, Silver and photographer Brenner tour the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, Calif., and discuss the life and work of its creator and namesake. Replete with brilliant color photography, this hopeful book will win over anyone who doubts that a desolate landscape can support thriving life." --Publishers Weekly "An inspiring history of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, in Walnut Creek, California, that's packed with rich photography. You'll learn about design and plant palettes, as well as practical information on how to maximize a water-wise landscape from the pioneer of dry gardening." --Martha Stewart Living "This book serves readers in several ways. If you live in a nearly frost-free, dry climate like that east of San Francisco, you can take it right out to the garden or a local nursery. If you are an avid indoor gardener with grow-lights or south-facing windows, you will be thrilled by the extensive picture-filled encyclopedia of cacti and other succulents. If you love gorgeous books with voluptuous pictures (by Marion Brenner, California's premier landscape photographer), this is a book for your collection. I'm happy to say that another reason to get this book is for the richly illustrated biography of this remarkable plantswoman." --Better Homes and Country Gardens "Part coffee table book and part homage, The Bold Dry Garden is a beautiful book." --NYBG's Plant Talk "Today, as the West wakes up with what fills like a collective hangover from the era of overly irrigated landscapes, the Ruth Bancroft Garden is the perfect antidote--dry yet lush, bold yet welcoming, and full of natural curiosities." --Sunset "Everything about The Bold Dry Garden, from the beautiful cover to the wealth of authoritative information it contains, will appeal to fans of succulents and other arid-region plants. But even if you have never planted a single cactus, you will be inspired by the story of Ruth Bancroft and her exemplary dry garden." --The American Gardener "Lavishly illustrated with full colour photographs--including charming shots from the early years and eye-catching vistas or close-up details of plants taken more recently--all demonstrating Ruth's ability to blend art, horticulture and botany. . . .anyone interested in putting together a garden of succulent plants cannot fail to be inspired to try and replicate some of those vistas using hardier subjects. Otherwise, simply turn the pages and immerse yourself in the story of one of the world's great gardens." --The Garden "An eloquently written fan-letter to Ruth, and the garden, . . . the book is filled with bits of Ruth's history, her love of collecting and cataloging. . . and stories of the beginning of the garden. . . . That's why you should buy this book. Because it's inspiring. Because it contains a subtle challenge to embrace your site, garden like you will live forever, and share your knowledge with those that care to ask." --Danger Garden "Johanna and master garden photographer Marion Brenner would visit the garden every Saturday for a year. That commitment and dedication is evident in every sentence and every picture." --Succulents and More "A gorgeous homage to a life's work and an intimate view of the woman behind its creation." --Pacific Horticulture