Summer-Dry Plants and Gardens

Our Vision

Now, in the midst of tumultuous climate change, we realize it’s all the more important that gardeners be stewards of the land, attuned to the local environment on behalf of all creatures. Every small act we do adds resiliency. We will help provide tools for gardeners in summer-dry climates.

The Summer-Dry Project is an on-going initiative to provide gardeners in summer-dry, mediterranean climates authoritative plant information and inspiring photos that encourage sustainable garden practices.


We are Nora Harlow and Saxon Holt

Nora Harlow

Nora Harlow is a landscape architect and gardener with wide-ranging experience in the summer-dry climates of California. Formerly an editor at Pacific Horticulture Magazine and co-editor of The Pacific Horticulture Book of Western Gardening, she also was co-editor of Wild Lilies, Irises, and Grasses. While in the Water Conservation Department of East Bay Municipal Utility District she oversaw and wrote Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the Bay Area.

Saxon Holt

Saxon Holt is a photojournalist and sole photographer of more than 30 garden books, including the award winning books Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates, The American Meadow Garden, and Hardy Succulents. He is the Director of the Summer-Dry Project, a Fellow of the Garden Writers Association, and owner of the PhotoBotanic Garden Library.


Our Resource Page is a growing list of reference sources. At the very top is the State of California’s WUCOLS Database of garden plants’ water use in all regions of the State.

WUCOLS, (Water Use Classification of Landscape Species) is the landscape plant database that guides gardeners and designers to determine water use in compliance with the California Model Efficiency Landscape Ordinance (MWELO), the State mandated ordinance to increase water efficiency standards for new and retrofitted landscapes. You will find our photos and plant descriptions throughout the WUCOLS database.

Other Resources include water agencies, plant societies, books, and websites. Let us know of other useful sites. Spread the word.

Contact Us

This is an on-going project, a plant database of the best plants for summer-dry gardens.

Stay in touch through our blog and RSS feed and Newsletter postings

Let us know what you would like to see.

Email | [email protected]

Summer-Dry |
PO Box 1826 | Novato | California | 94948


All photos are copyright by Saxon Holt under Certificate of Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. All Right Reserved.

Photos are for personal, noncommercial use and may not be given to others.

Personal license available at PhotoBotanic

Please respect copyright and ask other to get their own copy of the photos or go on-line at to see the photos.

If you have a plant genus you would like to add to our database, please let us know !