Despite their dry climates, Egypt's deserts sustain a rich variety of plant life, from towering doum palm trees to the tamarisk shrub and flowering acacias. With this practical guide, noted ecologist Irina Springuel explains the best techniques for cultivating gardens using species indigenous to Egypt.
The Desert Garden outlines Egypt's natural vegetation and describes the habitats where its most popular plants can be found in the wild. She provides guidance on where to obtain the plant material for propagation and cultivation, drawing on her decades of experience in growing local desert plants, and offers advice on the most effective methods of watering plants, from subsurface irrigation to buried clay pots filled with water-an efficient technique that has been used since pharaonic times. Springuel focuses on thirty-eight of the most popular species of desert flora, illustrating each with color photographs and black and white drawings. For each, she provides useful information on its ecology and uses, with historical details about its uses in ancient Egyptian medicine and culture, where available, as well as archaeological plant material. Included here is material for beginners who want a small and simple private garden as well as for anyone planning extensive landscaping around a hotel or historic monument. Presented in straightforward language for the lay reader, while offering accurate scientific detail for professionals and scientists, The Desert Garden is an ideal companion for anyone interested in growing desert plants, both in Egypt and in similar desert environments elsewhere in the world.A handbook for growing successful gardens in a desert environmentIRINA SPRINGUEL, a professor of plant ecology, graduated from Leningrad State University and continued her postgraduate studies in Egypt. Her PhD research work on the First Cataract Islands near Aswan led to their declaration as a protectorate in 1986, conserving these unique habitats. The author of numerous published works, she has worked in Upper Egypt for almost thirty years on diverse ecological and environmental research topics and in promoting environmental education.
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