Reconcilable differences

Welcome to RN&R’s 2008 Spring Garden Guide!

The month of May brings with it childish urges to pick up handfuls of cow poo, to play in the dirt, to spend all day outside—sunburn be damned. Forgive the gardeners, for the season to plant and to grow is upon us.

In these days of food shortage reports, climate change and disconnection with the planet, it just makes sense to grow something, preferably edible, in your yard or balcony or container. Michael Pollan, in an April 20 New York Times essay, wrote: “Planting a garden sounds pretty benign, I know, but in fact, it’s one of the most powerful things an individual can do—to reduce your carbon footprint, sure, but more important, to reduce your sense of dependence and dividedness: to change the cheap-energy mind.”

We’re also told, again and again, that we live in an arid desert and that food isn’t the only resource that’s dwindling. Water conservation is a giant buzz phrase. So how do we join these seemingly discordant desires for gardens and for water conservation? It’s called xeriscape. And you’ll hear all about it, from the first empty plot of land to the last juicy cherry tomato, in this, RN&R’s annual Spring Garden Guide. Enjoy.