Gardens & Landscapes

Dry Gardens: High Style for Low Water Gardens

Acclaimed landscape designer Daniel Nolan showcases the best of desert gardenscapes that have become synonymous with luxury minimalism, and presents techniques that will inspire readers to transform available space into their own modern dry garden.

Hot days, cool nights, dry air, a blazing sun—California’s Mediterranean climate is not what you think of when you hear “lush garden,” but leading garden designers Nolan and his peers have revolutionized this genre with their artful designs.

Nolan, the authority on dry gardens, has carefully selected 25 unique public and private garden masterpieces, diverse examples of interior and exterior gardening techniques. Readers will be treated to a complete look at crafting elevated and rustic gardens through a variety of environments, from pools and pocket gardens, front lawns, balconies, and living walls to retail spaces, museums, and vineyards. Each detailed project offers a different approach to incorporating the desert’s wild array of flora and becomes a practical tool, addressing various materials and horticultural and compositional solutions.

Rich with bold architecture of spiny cacti, brilliant and muted sage, rosy succulents, bright, dusty sands, and red rocks, Dry Gardens proves that inspiration has no geographic boundaries. It will be appreciated by lovers of gardens and interior design from around the world.

About The Author

Daniel Nolan studied fine arts at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. He has been designing gardens for over a decade. Caitlin Atkinson is a California-based photographer. Her work has appeared in books and magazines, such as Martha Stewart Living and Harper’s Bazaar. Flora Grubb is a San Francisco–based nurserywoman with a focus on landscapes that require minimal water and chemicals and wiser use of rescources.

  • Publish Date: September 25, 2018
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Gardening - Climatic - Desert
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9 x 9
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $55.00
  • CDN Price: $75.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6126-2


"This book on xeriscaping — gardening that requires no water from irrigation — documents the best of a new and inevitably necessary adaptation in landscaping. Landscape designer David Nolan compiles some of the most striking examples of minimal, cactus-and-agave-filled gardens that require little to no watering." -New York Magazine 

"The gardens are gorgeous and aspirational. Nolan seeks not to educate or proselytize about low-water gardening. With minimal text that sets the scene, he lets the photos do the talking. If you want to learn how the gardens save water through plant choice, grading, or other practicalities, this is not the book for you. It’s garden porn, pure and simple. Fans of modern design will especially love it." — Digging

"Who knew dry could look so lush? San Francisco landscape designer Daniel Nolan presents 25 examples of drought-tolerant gardens of his and others’ designs with richly saturated photos by Caitlin Atkinson." — Society of Architectural Historians

“The textures, architectural shapes, and lushness of the dry gardens captured by Daniel Nolan are overwhelming. His book has inspired me to create my own dry garden in LA. I am always trying to find ways to conserve water and never thought a garden could be so beautiful—with so little water.” 
—Jacqueline Schulze Weitzen, director, communications, GOOP